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Academics and Power: How a new cadre of career track academic managers are colonising university management

Shepherd, Sue (2017) Academics and Power: How a new cadre of career track academic managers are colonising university management. In: British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Annual Conference, 7-9 July 2017, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. (Unpublished) (KAR id:62474)

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There is a prevailing academic narrative that asserts how – in response to the need for effective leadership in a globally competitive higher education environment - managerialism has pervaded universities leading to a diminution of academic, in favour of managerial, power. Academic autonomy is said to have declined and the professional status of academics weakened as authority has shifted from academics to managers. This presentation will present evidence from two recent research studies (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Society for Research in Higher Education) that critically examine this narrative and offer a more nuanced view.

On the basis of this evidence, it is proposed that the real shift in the balance of power has not been from academics to professional services managers, but rather from rank-and-file academics to a new professional elite of career track academic managers. This represents a form of professional stratification within the academy. Conference participants will be invited to give their views on the validity of this proposition from a theoretical and/or professional perspective.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: university management; higher education management; academics; managers; managerialism; pro vice chancellor; power relations; executive team; management; hybrid managers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Sue Shepherd
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2017 08:14 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Shepherd, Sue:
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