This thesis examines pedagogical innovation within Scottish university business schools
and the influence of university culture in supporting or inhibiting this category of
innovation. Innovations in pedagogy are often requested by students, required by national
policy-making bodies and sponsored by agencies that are both external and internal to
education. Yet the reported incidences of where, how and to what extent this category of
innovation is being used with Scottish university business schools are relatively sparse
within the extant literature. Self- and peer-assessment are selected as forms of pedagogical
innovation partly because of the role assessment plays in the learner process and in
addressing standards of stakeholder bodies.
Using a reconceptualised model adapted and extended from the literature, the research
explores the influence of university culture in supporting and inhibiting academics
innovating with self- and peer-assessment. Deploying a multi-method data collection
approach, the data from three contrasting Scottish university sources are analysed and
synthesised to assess the nature of this influence.
The findings from the study suggest modest levels of utilisation of self- and peerassessment practice across Scottish University business schools and indicate patterns of
adoption and areas for further development. In addition, the findings suggest that
organisational culture within a university setting can be measured to portray a cultural
typology and profile. However, the resultant cultural profiles extracted from the
application of this multi-method approach are complex and proved hard to characterise in a
definitive and clear-cut way as to the extent to which these university cultures directly
inhibit rather than promote pedagogical innovations such as self- and peer-assessment.
The thesis contributes towards the policy-practice debate surrounding pedagogical
innovation in Scottish university business schools and UK higher education more generally
and provides a number of considerations and implications for government, institutional
policy makers, university lecturers and researchers.