The Changing Role of Academics and the Rise of Managerialism

  • Abbey HydeEmail author
  • Marie Clarke
  • Jonathan Drennan
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 5)


In this chapter, the manner in which the traditional model of a university has evolved in light of recent shifts in the character of higher education institutions under the influence of the private business-sector model is explored. In particular, a genre of theoretical and empirical work focused on the implications of managerialism on academic activities is considered, particularly the diversification of academic work, changes in the control over academic activities, and the impact of managerialism on the nature of teaching and research. Empirical studies indicate that managerialism has neither been wholeheartedly rejected nor accepted by academics, but rather has been received in a more fluid and haphazard way. We conclude that although the general picture emerging in the literature is that of a profession in crisis, a good deal of the increased regulation of academics is overseen by those within their own ranks via peer review. Whilst managerialist ideology is increasingly becoming a dominant discourse within university, the extent to which it has superseded collegiality is debatable.


High Education Organisational Commitment Academic Freedom Academic Work High Education Sector 
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.


  1. Bloor, D. (1991). Knowledge and social imagery (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, P. (2004). Science of science and reflexivity (trans: Nice, R.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bryson, C. (2004). The consequences for women in the academic profession of the widespread use of fixed term contracts. Gender, Work, and Organisation, 11(2), 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chan, K. (2001). The difficulties and conflict of constructing a model for teacher evaluation in higher education. Higher Education Management, 13(1), 93–111.Google Scholar
  5. Davies, C. (2007). Grounding governance in dialogue? Discourse, practice and the potential for a new public sector organisational form in Britain. Public Administration, 85(1), 47–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Vries, R., & Lemmens, T. (2006). The social and cultural shaping of medical evidence: case studies from pharmaceutical research and obstetric science. Social Science & Medicine, 62(11), 2694–2706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dearlove, J. (2002). A continuing role for academics: the governance of UK universities in the post Dearing era. Higher Education Quarterly, 56(3), 257–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Doring, A. (2002). Challenges to the academic role of change agent. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 26(2), 139–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Enders, J., & Musselin, C. (2008). Back to the future? The academic professions in the 21st century. In OECD (Ed.), Higher education to 2030 volume 1: demography (pp. 125–150). Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  10. Enders, J., Kehm, B. M., & Schimank, U. (in press). Turning universities into actors on quasi-markets: how governance affects research.Google Scholar
  11. Fanghanel, J. (2007). Local responses to institutional policy: a discursive approach to positioning. Studies in Higher Education, 32(2), 187–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Findlow, S. (2008). Accountability and innovation in higher education: a disabling tension? Studies in Higher Education, 33(3), 313–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fleck, L. ([1935] 1979). Genesis and development of a scientific fact (trans: Bradley, F., Trenn, T. J., & Merton, R. K.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Freidson, E. (2001). Professionalism: the third logic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Halsey, A. H. (1992). The decline of Donnish dominion. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  16. Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). (2002). Teaching quality enhancement fund: funding arrangements 2002–2003 to 2004–2005. Bristol: HEFCE.Google Scholar
  17. Hood, C. (1995). The ‘New Public Management’ in the 1980s: variations on a theme. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 20(2/3), 93–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kolsaker, A. (2008). Academic professionalism in the managerialist era: a study of English universities. Studies in Higher Education, 33(5), 513–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuhn, T. S. (1962). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  20. Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Leišyte, L. (2007). University governance and academic research: case studies of research units in Dutch and English universities. Enschede: CHEPS/UT.Google Scholar
  22. Mayo, P. (2009). Competitiveness, diversification and the international higher education cash flow: the EU’s higher education discourse amidst the challenges of globalisation. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 19(2), 87–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McDonnell, O., Lohan, M., Hyde, A., & Porter, S. (2009). Social theory, health & healthcare. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  24. Mill, J. S. (1965). Principles of political economy. In J. M. Robson (Ed.), Collected works. Toronto: Toronto University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Morley, L. (2003). Quality and power in higher education. Berkshire: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Musselin, C. (2007). The transformation of academic work: Facts and analysis (Research and Occasional Paper Series: CSHE.4.07). Berkeley: Centre for Studies in Higher Education, University of California. Accessed 16 Nov 2010.
  27. Neave, G. (1988). On the cultivation of quality, efficiency and enterprise: an overview of recent trends in higher education in Western Europe, 1986–1988. European Journal of Education, 33(1/2), 7–23.Google Scholar
  28. Neave, G. (1998). The evaluative state revisited. European Journal of Education, 33(3), 265–284.Google Scholar
  29. Olssen, M. (2002). The restructuring of tertiary education in New Zealand: governmentailty, neo-liberalism, democracy. McGill Journal of Education, 37(1), 57–88.Google Scholar
  30. Parker, M., & Jary, D. (1995). The McUniversity: organisations, management and academic subjectivity. Organization, 2(2), 319–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pollitt C., & Bouckaert, G. (2004). Public management reform: a comparative analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Power, M. (1997). The audit society: rituals of verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Scott, J. W. (2002). The critical state of shared governance. Academe, 88(4), 41–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shattock, M. (1999). Governance and management in universities: the way we live now. Journal of Education Policy, 14(3), 217–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Smeenk, S., Teelken, C., Eisinga, R., & Doorewaard, H. (2009). Managerialism, organisational commitment, and quality of job performances among European university employees. Research in Higher Education, 50(6), 589–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stilwell, F. (2003). Higher education, commertial criteria and economic incentives. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 25(2), 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ylijoki, O. H. (2003). Entangled in academic capitalism? A case-study on changing ideals and pratices of university research. Higher Education, 45(3), 307–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College DublinDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations