Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 177–195

Organizational socialization and induction in universities: Reconceptualizing theory and practice

  • Paul Trowler
  • Peter Knight

DOI: 10.1023/A:1003594512521

Cite this article as:
Trowler, P. & Knight, P. Higher Education (1999) 37: 177. doi:10.1023/A:1003594512521


This paper argues that the theory and practice of induction and socialization of new academic staff in universities have been based on a partial, corporatist, perspective influenced by now defunct structural-functionalist theory. We develop a more sophisticated theoretical understanding of organizational socialization and explore its consequences for the practice of induction of new academic staff. These ideas are based on secondary data derived from a number of studies of new academic appointees (NAAs), 27 in-depth interviews we conducted with academics in ten Canadian and English universities, both chartered and unchartered, and a five year ethnographic study of academic staff in a single unchartered English university.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Trowler
    • 1
  • Peter Knight
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Education StudiesUniversity of Central LancashirePreston Lancashire
  2. 2.Department of Educational ResearchLancaster UniversityLancaster

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