Academics: How do they spend their time?

Year: 2003

Author: Forgasz, Helen, Leder, Gilah

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Academics are reported to be working longer hours and have less time for research because of increasing administrative and teaching demands. The traditional pattern of the academic enterprise appears to have changed. To explore whether this is indeed the case, the Experience Sampling Method [ESM], a research technique devised by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, was used in a pilot study to monitor the working lives of 22 university academics from two "Gumtree" multi campus universities in Australia. Participants were asked to complete a specifically devised Experience Sampling Form [ESF] on receipt of a SMS message sent to their mobile phones six times a day for one week. Information was gathered about the activities being undertaken and the respondents' feelings about these activities. Work related tasks reported were sorted into the 17 different categories of academic work devised by Kreber. The findings were examined by gender, university of employment, working hours, and by level of academic appointment.