Change agency as a way of promoting pedagogical development in academic communities : a longitudinal study

Maria Clavert*, Erika Löfström, Hannele Niemi, Anne Nevgi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the face of organizational transformations, academics are given a role as informal ‘change agents’ in their discipline-specific communities of practice (DCoP). Simultaneous participation in pedagogically oriented communities of practice (PCoP) enables them to promote pedagogical development through brokering at community interfaces. This empirical study explores academics’ experiences of acting as informal change agents at the interfaces of DCoP and PCoP during an organizational transition phase of three years. The longitudinal data were collected with interviews of 13 academics from the fields of science and technology. The findings reveal a variety of pedagogical development activities related to shared meanings, practices, identities, and ways of belonging. The activities are aligned with the organizational transition process and enabled by collegial support. The findings indicate that lack of supportive formal leadership may terminate the informal development activities. The resulting model of change agency provides a novel approach to pedagogical development in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number8
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Brokering
  • change agency
  • community of practice
  • organizational transformation
  • pedagogical development


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