Professional Obtaining & Becoming Model – a Way to Explain Unequal Academic Career Paths


  • Constantin Florin Domunco Lecturer PhD, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Suceava, Romania



Academic Career, Informal Communication Networks, Constructivist Grounded Theory


Academic career has visible and invisible components. The immediate perceptible part of an academic career is the status of a teacher in his university structure. What it can’t be seen is what the teachers do to achieve an academic position. This research analyses the academic actors informal communication networks like an invisible mechanism involved in the construction of an academic profession. The study uses the constructivist grounded theory research paradigm. The results revealed two main directions in the social construction of an academic career: ”Professional Becoming” and ”Professional Obtaining”. Each direction influence the perception of personal values, self esteem, social relations, efficiency & effectiveness and individual benefits. All these generate different results in the academic profession development in areas like teaching, researching, institutional relations, national and international recognition, teacherstudent partnership and personal emotional support. The study proposes explanations of professional paths and allows a reflexive and not intuitive assessment of personal action strategies. The effect of the model on academic career planning should be reflected in the rethinking and repositioning of teachers towards the implications of informal communication phenomenon in professional development.


Bergeron, D., & Liang, X. F. (2007). Thriving in the Academy: a Model of Faculty Career Success. In George T. Solomon (Ed.), Best Paper Proceedings of the Sixty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (CD).

Bourdieu, P. (1985). The forms of capital. In J.G. Richardson (ed.). Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, 241-258. New York: Greenwood.

Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (1979). The elements of style (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Bourdieu, P. (2000). Simţul practic (trad. Rodica Caragea). Iaşi: Institutul European.

Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo Academicus. CA: Stanford University Press.

Burris, V. (2004). The Academic Caste System: Prestige Hierarchies in PhD Exchange Networks. American Sociological Review, 69, 239-264.

Castells, M. (2011). The Promise of Network Theory. International Journal of Communication, 5, 794–795.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Retrieved from

Clark, S. M., & Corcoran, M. (1986). Perspectives on the professional socialization of women faculty: A case of accumulative disadvantage? The Journal of Higher Education, 57, 20–43.

Cook, K. E. (2008). In-depth interviews. In L. M. Given (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Doi:

Di Leo, J. R. (2003). Affiliations: Identity in Academic Culture. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.

Forret, M. L., & Dougherty, T. W. (2004). Networking behaviors and career outcomes: Differences for men and women? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 419-437.

Jungbauer-Gans, M., & Gross C. (2013). Determinants of Success in University Careers: Findings from the German Academic Labor Market. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 42(1), 74-92.

Melicher, R.W. (2000). The Perceived Value of Research and Teaching Mentoring by Finance Academicians. Financial Practice & Education, 10, 166–174.

Monge, P. R., & Contractor, N. S. (2003). Theories of Communication Networks. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pifer, M. J., & Baker, V. L. (2013). Managing the Process: The Intradepartmental Networks of Early-Career Academics. Innovative Higher Education, 38, 323– 337. doi:10.1007/s10755-012-9243-y

Podolny, J. M., & Baron, J. N. (1997). Resources and relationships: Social networks and mobility in the workplace. American Sociological Review, 62, 673-693.

Sabatier, M., Carrere, M., & Mangematin, V. (2006). Profiles of Academic Activities and Careers: Does Gender Matter? An Analysis Based on French Life Scientist CVs. Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 311–324.

Seibert, S. E., Kraimer, M. L., & Liden, R. C. (2001). A Social Capital Theory of Career Success. Academy of Management Journal, 44(2), 219-237.

Silva, E., & Warde, A. (2010). Introduction: the importance of Bourdieu. In: Silva, Elizabeth and Warde, Alan eds. Cultural analysis and Bourdieu’s legacy: settling accounts and developing alternatives. Culture, Economy and the Social. London: Routledge, 1(13).

Stănciulescu, E. (1996). Teorii sociologice ale educaţiei. Iaşi: Polirom.

Zuckerman, H. (1977). Scientific Elite. Nobel Laureates in the United States. New York: Free Press.




How to Cite

Domunco, C. F. (2018). Professional Obtaining & Becoming Model – a Way to Explain Unequal Academic Career Paths. Revista Romaneasca Pentru Educatie Multidimensionala, 10(4), 92-104.

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now