Management as ideology: the case of 'new managerialism' in higher education

R Deem, KJ Brehony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

560 Citations (Scopus)


The paper explores ideological conceptions of management, especially 'new managerialism', with particular reference to their role in the reform of higher education. It is suggested that attempts to reform public services in general are political as well as technical, though there is no single unitary ideology of 'new managerialism'. Whilst some argue that managers have become a class and have particular interests, this may not be so for all public services. The arguments presented are illustrated by data taken from a recent research project on the management of UK higher education. It is suggested that managers in public service organisations such as universities do not constitute a class. However, as in the case of manager-academics, managing a contemporary public service such as higher education may involve taking on the ideologies and values of 'new managerialism', and for some, embracing these. So management ideologies do seem to serve the interests of manager-academics and help cement relations of power and dominance, even in contexts like universities which were not traditionally associated with the dominance of management.
Translated title of the contributionManagement as ideology: the case of 'new managerialism' in higher education
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217 - 235
Number of pages19
JournalOxford Review of Education
Volume31 (2)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Routledge


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