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Managerialism: an ideal type

Shepherd, Sue (2018) Managerialism: an ideal type. Studies in Higher Education, 43 (9). pp. 1668-1678. ISSN 0307-5079. E-ISSN 1470-174X. (doi:10.1080/03075079.2017.1281239)


Managerialism pervades the higher education literature in much the same way it is said to have pervaded universities themselves. Yet, despite its ubiquity and importance, managerialism remains an under-theorized and elusive concept that has multiple definitions and blurred boundaries. This article addresses this lack of conceptual clarity by first ‘locating’ managerialism in relation to the cognate concepts of neoliberalism and New Public Management and then elucidating its core principles in an ideal-type theoretical model. This ideal type provides a focal point for theoretical debate and critique and, via the development of empirical indicators for each ideological tenet, permits comparison of theory with organizational practice. A worked example is provided of how the model was used to shed light on the nature of managerialism as ideology in a university setting. However, it is anticipated that the model should have explanatory power and utility in a range of organizational contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1281239
Uncontrolled keywords: Managerialism, neoliberalism, New Public Management, ideal type, management theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: S. Shepherd
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 09:32 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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