Understanding academic identity conflicts in the public university: importance of work ideologies
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Our study explores the prevalence of academic identity conflicts in a public university by focusing on the work ideologies academics draw upon when reflecting on the purpose of higher education and academic work. Framing the study are three related propositions: (1) public universities face unique identity problems arising from pressures to align the institution and its academic workforce around a commercial ethos and student as consumer principles; (2) work ideologies play a key role in understanding academic identity conflicts by highlighting the competing and contradictory beliefs on which higher education and academic work is (should be) organised; and (3) academics voice work ideologies consistent with their positions in the university hierarchy. Academic responses to an online survey indicated professors and lecturers shared a deep-seated antipathy to a market ethos that reduces higher education to a narrow economic function. Implications and challenges associated with viewing academic identity conflicts from a work ideologies perspective are considered.
35th HERDSA Annual International Conference
Copyright 2012 HERDSA. Reproduced with permission. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Human Resources Management