The University As Enterprise And Academic Co-Determination

  • Ivar Bleiklie
  • Svein Michelsen
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 24)

The academic profession has historically been defined by its autonomy and selfregulation. The area for union participation has been limited and focused on wage determination. The New Public Management turn in policy formation and institutional design seems to have made an impression on university life. In the new academic enterprise employer prerogatives have become more pronounced, and professional leadership structures are often preferred to more collegial forms. The system of wage determination emphasised more decentralised forms for wage determination and increasing pressure for flexible academic labour. To what extent have the transitions reshaped academic employee relations and academic identities? To what extent have new forms of participation and codetermination been formed? The chapter is based on a nationwide representative survey of Norwegian academics carried out in 2005 as well as empirical material collected from a number of institutions focusing how university leadership structures and employee codetermination has evolved under the emerging enterprise model. We start by outlining three different theoretical perspectives identifying different conceptions of the academic employee relation. Then in part 3 we look at recent Norwegian administrative reforms. We present changes that have taken place in the shape of organisational devolution of state enterprises, and the formal reconstruction of the university towards the enterprise model and the new possibilities which state administrative policy has provided for union codetermination at the university. In part 4 we review changes in the composition of the academic profession and in part 5 we discuss the role of the academic unions in the ongoing modernisation and reconstruction of the academic employment relation. Part 6 analyses the local dynamics of academic codetermination at the enterprise level and department level. Finally we return to the theoretical question of the character of the academic employee relation, academic unions and the role of codetermination.


Civil Servant Industrial Relation Academic Union Union Officer Wage Determination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Bleiklie
    • Svein Michelsen

    There are no affiliations available

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