An Investigation of the Casualisation of Academic Work in Australia
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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Griffith Business School
The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
Australia’s universities have undergone a transformation over the past three decades. These changes have impacted heavily on academic staff and academic work. For some the ‘ivory tower’ offering lifelong academic employment still exists, while many others aspire to it. However, the reality of working life for most academic staff in Australia’s universities is increasingly characterised by an institutional invisibility manifest in poor conditions, lack of career path and no job security. Much of the teaching work in Australia’s universities today is performed by casual, hourly paid, staff underscoring this bifurcation of academic work. Casualisation of academic work has arisen from a mix of demand side and supply side factors, overlayed by the regulatory environment and the impact of new forms of public management on the university sector. These processes are part of a re-shaping of academic work and they sit within what is currently a highly complex and challenging environment for universities. Universities operate in a competitive and volatile global context, and have their missions and purpose framed firmly by economic imperatives.
Academic staffs, Australia
Casualisation of academic work, Australia