Change in Universities and Some Consequences for Academics
As globalization and the recasting of the university as a tool of economic restructuring have advanced, much higher education has been transformed from a pedagogical exchange to a market relationship founded on the notion of the student-as-customer. This paper considers research findings drawn from an occupational case study of academics in Australian universities. Our argument challenges the current management paradigm of customer focus as a 'win-win' situation. Critical to this challenge is the issue of the primacy of the link between consumption and production and its impact on the organisation of academics' work. We explore the marketisation and organisational change of universities and some consequences for academics, including: the redesign of work practices, provision of flexible services to meet clients' demands, customising courses to fit the perceived demands of students. We conclude that in the future the commercial interests of universities are likely to dominate academics' interests in terms of their autonomy, collegial decision-making and 'academic freedom'.
Managing our Intellectual and Social Capital