The knowledge worker, the manager-academic and the contemporary UK university: new and old forms of public management?

R Deem

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

Abstract

This paper explores how far the expectations of and the practices and technologies used by academics in management roles in UK higher education at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries appear to differ from those used in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The system of higher education in the UK is explained and then concepts of new managerialism and academic knowledge work are discussed. Next the changing policy context of UK higher education since the 1960s is examined. The paper then uses illustrations of perceptions of contemporary changes to changing expectations about the roles of academics in management roles in UK universities from a recent UK Economic and Social Research Council funded project on 'New Managerialism and the Management of UK Universities'. Finally, using research and insider accounts of university management and governance from the 1960s onwards, the paper examines the extent to which so-called new forms of management of higher education may have predated the 1990s. It is suggested that whilst some elements of the management of universities remain intact (role titles, leadership of academics, oversight of teaching and research) from the 1960s and 1970s, radical policy changes from the 1980s onwards have meant that major shifts in what was expected of academics in management roles began in the early to mid-1980s.
Translated title of the contributionThe knowledge worker, the manager-academic and the contemporary UK university: new and old forms of public management?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107 - 128
Number of pages22
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Volume20 (2)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Blackwell

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