Organisational involvement in supporting the learned professional.

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Weller, Gordon ; Garelick, Hemda ; Naylor, David ; Sherry, Richard
  • Publisher: Middlesex University

This paper describes the Doctorate in Professional Studies (DProf) as developed at a UK University and specifically focuses on the specialist doctoral pathways in Health, Environment and Risk in the School of Health and Social Sciences. The paper considers the role of the major stakeholders; Doctoral candidate, Employer Organisation hosting the research, and the University. Since the inception of the DProf there has been recognition of the need for the employer organisation to be an active partner in the research by supporting it through being receptive to the emerging research findings. There is also recognition of the differences between traditional doctoral study and that of the work based professional doctoral candidate. Portwood (2000) considered the concept of the learned worker as the person who is able to develop a reflective and cognisant view of organisational developments and change. Armsby and Costley (2009) took the learned worker concept further by considering the potential risks and barriers encountered through the “situatedness” of the professional doctoral candidate in the organisation, and ultimately their vulnerability should there be internal resistance or apathy towards the research. The paper considers two examples of such resistance and analyses the support required for the learned professional doctoral candidate through utilising the resources of “organisation sapiens”. Recommendations are made on strategy for leading the change process and understanding positive and constructive approaches to questioning organisational change. The paper concludes with a consideration of a more inclusive and participatory approach to organisation stakeholder involvement and potential methodologies that may enable greater partnership in the research.
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