Vietnamese Early Career Academics’ Identity Work: Balancing Tensions between East and West

Jones, David R. and Gardner, Trang and Bui, Hong T. M. (2021) Vietnamese Early Career Academics’ Identity Work: Balancing Tensions between East and West. Studies in Higher Education, 47 (6). pp. 1284-1296. ISSN 0307-5079

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Through a narrative analysis of 33 interviews with Vietnamese early career academics, we explore whether a Confucianist/collectivist academic context in Vietnam has a key influence on academics’ identity work, within the embrace of encroaching managerialist practices. We show how these academics from 11 universities negotiated identity alignment and identity tensions between such cultural orientation and managerialism. On the one hand, a Confucianist ethic underpinning higher education in Vietnam is likely to encourage academics to engage in managerialist practices, as it promotes harmony and loyalty to their respective university and its global, ‘excellence’ goals. On the other hand, a cultural underpinning of collegiality can create tension with the individualist nature of managerialist practices. Our recommendations for universities in a similar context are to adapt the more individualistic performative approaches borrowed from the West by crafting their own collegiate, soft managerialist hybrid practices.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
12 January 2021Accepted
27 January 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Identity, identity work culture, collectivism, collegiality, confucianism
Subjects: CAH00 - multidisciplinary > CAH00-00 - multidisciplinary > CAH00-00-00 - multidisciplinary
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-02 - teacher training
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Centre for Applied Finance and Economics
Depositing User: Hong Bui
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2022 16:05
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 12:58

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