Academics' social positioning towards the restructured management system in Finnish universities
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CitationTapanila, Katriina. Siivonen, Päivi. Filander, Karin. (2018). Academics' social positioning towards the restructured management system in Finnish universities. Studies in Higher Education, [Epub ahead of print 01 Nov 2018], -. 10.1080/03075079.2018.1539957.
The invasion of managerialism in universities has changed the prerequisites for academic work. Decision making and control over academic work based on the expertise of academics have declined; in turn, managers have gained more decision-making power. Our study’s target group comprises academics representing educational sciences in two Finnish universities, where large managerialist reforms have been carried out. We explore how the academics positioned themselves towards the new management system based on managerialism. In the analysis of our qualitative work welfare survey data, we applied a narrative-discursive approach. The positionings traced in the analysis ranged from resistance to managerialism to desire for strong management. The new management system was regarded as problematic because it was perceived as neglecting traditional academic ideals. We conclude that increased managerial control, accompanied by many administrative duties, may disturb the basic work of academics and therefore decrease the quality of research and teaching in universities.