Two groups separated by a shared goal: How academic managers and lecturers have embraced the introduction of digital technologies in UK higher education


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 intro-ducing new approaches differed significantly. Whilst it is important not to gen-eralise 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.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: Copyright © 2021 X. Zhou and M. Milecka-Forrest. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic managers,Academic staff-management collaboration,Communities of practice,Digital technology strategy,Motivations,Education,Computer Science Applications
Publication ISSN: 2156-7077
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 08:26
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2024 11:02
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://journal ... ticle/view/2446 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-01-15
Published Online Date: 2021-01-15
Accepted Date: 2020-10-27
Authors: Zhou, Xue
Milecka-Forrest, Melania



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record