It's Very Different Here: Practice-Based Academic Staff Induction and Retention

Virginia King, Jannie Roed, Louise Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


The sociologist, Max Weber (1864-1920), suggested that few could withstand the frustrations of academic life. As the strategic management of human resources begins to differentiate higher education institutions (HEIs) in league tables, the costs of voluntary staff turnover (attrition) become more significant. In this paper, we consider links between induction (orientation) and retention for academic staff. We report on a qualitative study of thirty academic staff in five United Kingdom HEIs who were recruited on the basis of their professional experience. Their practice-based knowledge lends our participants particular insight into their HEI induction experience which, where found wanting, led in several cases to resignation. We analyse the induction experiences of our participants to glean explanations for these perceived shortcomings. Since induction interventions are thought to lead to improved retention, we recommend policy and practice changes to induction which may benefit all academic staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-484
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, on 23/07/2018, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • academic staff
  • faculty
  • onboarding
  • retention
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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