This paper derives from a study oforganizational socialization and induction inuniversities. It uses some of the data fromthat study to critique social practice theoryand to further develop a model to illuminatethe characteristics of professionalknowledgeability and practices underpinningdaily life in universities. This is donethrough the analysis of a case study of oneunusual sub-departmental workgroup in anunchartered English university: one thatcomprises both Deaf and hearing academics.Using such a case study highlights factors thatare less evident in hearing-only situations,displaying important features in exaggeratedform which exist less palpably in mostmicro-social situations in universities. As aresult it offers a suitable locus for themodelling of the processes underlying muchwhich is taken for granted in universities'daily life. The structure of the paper is asfollows: it outlines the broader study fromwhich this is derived and makes some generalcomments about using `unusual' case studies. Itthen goes on to describe the characteristics ofworkgroups in university contexts through thecase study example and to explore theirtheoretical corollaries. Finally the paperconsiders the implications for aspects of themodel developed, particularly in terms of localleadership.