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Journal of Higher Education

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Taylor and Francis


In this article we examine the ways in which institutional stratification and academic labor segmentation contribute to shaping faculty collaborative activities. We draw on interviews from science and engineering faculty at two institutions in the United States to highlight how collaboration, as an essential form of academic labor, is shaped by institutional factors like resource stress and isomorphic pressures to fit the ideal of the “world-class” research-intensive university. The findings suggest that a university’s relative position in the institutional status hierarchy has a significant impact on the types of resources faculty seeking to establish collaborations can access and mobilize, thus reinforcing existing patterns of institutional stratification where “striving” institutions can never catch up to their more prestigious peers. At the same time, the pressure to maximize institutional prestige can create paradoxical interinstitutional dynamics where seemingly successful “Mode 2” units that rely almost exclusively on external resources and partnerships with industry are expected to mold themselves more closely to the activity streams of traditional academic units.


Author Posting © Taylor and Francis, 2019. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor and Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Higher Education, 2019.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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