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
© 2012 HERDSA. Reproduced with permission. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Human Resources Management