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Your chance to be involved in cultural change at Sussex

A team of researchers working on a project that is exploring how to change the campus culture at Sussex have completed an initial data analysis and are now ready to use this to try to generate meaningful change.

Over the past six months more than 700 members of the university community have completed a survey as part of the 'Changing University Cultures’ (CHUCL) project, and over 80 have participated in interviews and focus groups.

Dr Gemma North, one of the project team, says: “We’ve listened hard to your experiences of studying and working at the University.

“The next stage will be an action research intervention to think about ways to improve the culture at Sussex.”

The team have identified some broad emerging themes and they are now recruiting for eight (out of a total of 14) Action Inquiry (AI) ‘cycles’. In these cycles, students and staff will explore the themes in more detail.

Gemma says: “Our approach is called ‘Grounded Action Inquiry’ as the AI is ‘grounded’ in our research data on institutional culture, with the ultimate aim of kick-starting the process of cultural change.”

Action Inquiry is a discursive, cyclical process of reflection and action in which individuals in an organisation come together to address common issues.

It is a well-established organisational development tool, which the CHUCL team have already used to very positive effect in their previous work at Imperial College.

Louise Lindsay, Director of Human Resources at Imperial, recalls: “The Action Inquiry process was a powerful tool and the facilitation had a profound and long-lasting impact on participants.

“From a personal perspective, I can attribute a number of beneficial changes to the way I work as a senior member of the College to the ideas and different perspectives that evolved.”

If you would like to be involved in this exciting process at Sussex, find out more via the CHUCL Action Inquiry web pages.

Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell says: “We recognise that the Action Inquiry stage of the CHUCL project involves a substantial time commitment, but we would really appreciate your investment as we develop increased insight, shared vision and practice at the University of Sussex.

“Our culture defines the environment in which we all work and study at Sussex. It relates to our wellbeing and fundamentally affects what we can and can’t achieve.”

There is also still an opportunity for people to share their views and experiences – anonymously if appropriate - via the project website.


Posted on behalf of: CHUCL team
Last updated: Friday, 15 September 2017

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