Managing Academics


Managing Academics

A Question of Perspective

9781781006689 Edward Elgar Publishing
Richard Philip Winter, Senior Lecturer in Management, The Australian National University
Publication Date: 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78100 668 9 Extent: 224 pp
Managing Academics contrasts three alternative perspectives of managing (professionalism, quality of worklife, prosocial identity) with the dominant perspective of managerialism in higher education institutions. The intention of the contrast is to: (1) challenge the notion that managing academics is a unitary, values-free process; (2) raise awareness of managing as a social process in which values and identity questions resonate as issues of importance to managers and the managed; and (3) help academic-managers influence and balance “hybrid” perspectives of managing and scholarship.

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Managing Academics offers contrasting perspectives of managing others in order to provoke alternative interpretations of academic work, identity, working relationships and scholarship outcomes in higher education institutions (HEIs). The author leverages a novel analytical-empirical approach to challenge the notion that managing others is a unitary, values-free process. This approach raises awareness of managing as a social process in which personal values and identity questions are treated as issues of importance to the manager and managed.

Studies of academic values such as identity, professionalism and quality of worklife are integrated with authority, commitment and client-community service concepts developed within the disciplines of psychology and management in a multiple perspectives model. To enable different types of academic work to be valued and enacted simultaneously in HEIs, chapters on hybridity and perspective taking are presented.

This innovative book is essential reading for academic managers in universities and colleges. It will also be of great value to academics and research students in business, management and higher education studies, and indeed anyone with an interest in the process of managing professionals.
Critical Acclaim
‘It is a thoughtprovoking book that will also serve as a great tool for students on their path to becoming academics, particularly those that are at the crossroads, contemplating the purpose of their academic work.’
– Radhika Chugh, Academy of Management Learning & Education

‘This book sets out an ambitious but achievable alternative to the managerialism that dominates current approaches to leadership and management in higher education. The multiple perspectives model provides a holistic and empirically grounded framework for exploring contrasting values, identities, emotions, goals and expectations, and for provoking generative conversations that will inspire and engage the next generation of academic leaders.’
– Richard Bolden, University of the West of England, UK

‘Managing Academics provides a timely and thoughtful examination of the significance of values and questions of identity in higher education for the development of the sector. It clearly illuminates how a unitary, managerialist approach to higher education can result in unintended, counterproductive consequences for the quality of teaching and the pursuit of research. It then offers a multi-perspective analysis of how the damaging effects of managerialism may be mitigated by advancing a more nuanced approach to the framing and enactment of scholarly activities. It is essential reading for anyone concerned about the degradation of higher education.’
– Hugh Willmott, City University London, UK

‘Richard Winter has produced one of the most thoughtful and informative books on academic management to be published in recent years, one which deserves to be read and appreciated by academics, academic managers and managers alike. It can only help them in finding common ground, understanding and purpose, something we will all need in moving the academy forward in demanding times’.
– Malcolm Tight, Lancaster University, UK

‘An excellent, thought provoking book on changing values and behaviour in universities. Richard Winter provides a sensemaking perspective to challenge the view that management is simply a value-free, functional process based on shared interests and goals. With students as “customers”, courses as “products” and publications as “hits”, he shows how managerialism limits academic identities as professionals. He argues that allowing for differences in the ways academics and academic work might be valued and managed allows us to move away from unitary conceptions of management that all organisations are governed effectively and legitimately by just one managerial perspective. The material on perspective taking also reinforces an important idea that leaders at all levels in universities may get more support for different employment and change strategies when they open-up spaces for dialogue and “questions” rather than relying on providing the right “answers”.’
– Adrian Wilkinson, Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Australia
Contents: Introduction PART I: MANAGING ACADEMICS 1. Managing Academics 2. Academic Work and Identity 3. A Question of Perspective PART II: KEY PERSPECTIVES 4. Managerialism 5. Professionalism 6. Quality of Worklife 7. Prosocial Identity PART III: PERSPECTIVE TAKING 8. Hybrid Challenges 9. Perspective Taking Bibliography Index
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