Davies, Julie (2016) Keeping in touch with hyphenated selves: Comparing the HRD of early career and established HR academics. In: 17th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice Across Europe., 8th - 10th June 2016, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

In this working paper, we critically consider the career development of UK HR academics. Key contingencies include changes in the CIPD’s curriculum based on its Profession for the Future Project (PFF); REF (Research Excellence Framework), particularly impact cases; and AACSB International accreditation guidelines on categories of faculty. We explore how early career academics from industry and established HR professors balance their attention to scholarship and to engagement with practice over time. How do they sustain ‘hyphenated selves’ (Fine and Sirin, 2007)? What are the human resource development implications for HR academics within the current impact agenda where public engagement is encouraged (Dallyn et al., 2015)? This pilot study compares questionnaires and interviews in a sample of 12 academics and secondary data based on the exemplar of Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a veteran and prolific media commentator on HR issues. We present vignettes of individuals at different stages in their academic careers. The analysis applies Clark’s (2015) eight lenses on ethical decision making (underpinning the PFF project) and examples of activities used to categorise faculty members into AACSB’s four typologies.
The initial findings suggest that rounded HR academics have rich (albeit overwhelming) opportunities to generate synergies between theory, practice and workplace engagement throughout their careers. We recommend greater use of dyads of early, mid and later career HR academics, advisory board partners and dissertation students to ensure HR academics bridge scholarship and practice. This paper contributes to an intergenerational understanding of developing academic careers aligned to changes in professional body strategies.


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