Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2008

Full Length Research Paper

Spanning professional and academic: The changing identity of professional administrators and managers in Hong Kong’s higher education context

Cheng Tak-lai
  • Cheng Tak-lai
  • Department of Childcare, Elderly and Community Services, The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Sha Tin), 21 Yuen Wo Road, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 October 2017
  •  Accepted: 15 November 2017
  •  Published: 10 December 2017


This paper builds on Whitchurch’s notion of the ‘blended professional’ which aims to examine how mixed professional activity affects professional administrators and managers’ identity disposition in universities in Hong Kong. In response to complex missions and demands of contemporary higher education globally, diverse projected-oriented professional managers have emerged in universities and are dedicated to a wide range of short- and long-term funded projects. Certainly, Hong Kong is no exception. The distinction between academic and non-academic staff has become less prominent for these managers who work across and between university functions. Yet, amongst discussions, Hong Kong – even in Asian Country – has received scant attention. By drawing empirical data from three professional managers currently working in a Hong Kong university’ research and development centres, this qualitative paper investigates through Whitchurch’s framework, how professional activities affect their identity disposition at their workplaces in Hong Kong context.

Key words: Blended professional, professional identity, identity disposition, narrative identity, administrator, third space.