Factors affecting the career progress of academic accountants in Australia: Cross-institutional and gender perspectives
Since the late 1980s, Australian higher education has undergone significant reforms and policy changes based on economic rationalism and modernisation of management. This paper examines the outcomes of the reform processes based on the career attributes, status and perceptions of work environment of academic accountants in Australian universities.Similarities and differences between academic accountants are explored from cross-institutional and gender perspectives.The data provide insight into a number of systemic inequalities between the older and more established universities and the newer universities. In specific, across-institutional analysis based on four university types: Sandstones/Redbricks,Gumtrees, Unitechs and New (Marginson 1999)indicates that academic accountants in New universities employ a much lower proportion of staff with PhD qualification, a weaker publication profile, and perceive greater barriers for conducting research in terms of a shortage of research mentors, colleagues with research experience, and post-graduate students. Further, the commitment to flexible learning and delivery strategies is comparatively stronger in Unitechs, and poses additional demands on accounting academics' overall workload. Perceptions of gender-based discrimination by female academic accountants are generally stronger than their male counterparts, particularly, in New universities. These results raise severa iissues for academic accountants at both the institutional and individual level in terms of equal employment opportunities, management of research programmes, development of teaching strategies and individual time management.