Two groups separated by a shared goal: how academic managers and lecturers have embraced the introduction of digital technologies in UK Higher Education

  • Xue Zhou School of Strategy and Leadership, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Melania Milecka-Forrest Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Keywords: communities of practice, academic managers, digital technology strategy, academic staff management collaboration, motivations


Digital technologies have been widely used in higher education (HE) for years, and the benefits have been recognised by both students and academics. Although many universities have developed their own digital technology strategies, many do not share either their vision or implementation strategies with staff.

This research explores differences and similarities in the perception of digital technology by lecturers and academic managers. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast motivations, barriers and support systems required for the use and adoption of digital strategies. Interviews were conducted with a group of 20 lecturers and academic managers in the HE sector. The results reveal that both groups shared a common view that the introduction of digital technology can have a clear set of benefits to students; however, their motivations for introducing new approaches differed significantly. Whilst it is important not to generalise too much given the lack of homogeneity in the two groups and also the crossover between managers and lecturers, managers tended to take a performance goal-based approach to its introduction whilst lecturers were more learning goal orientated. This difference can cause significant difficulties in the implementation of new approaches to learning.


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How to Cite
Zhou, X., & Milecka-Forrest, M. (2021). Two groups separated by a shared goal: how academic managers and lecturers have embraced the introduction of digital technologies in UK Higher Education. Research in Learning Technology, 29.
Original Research Articles