All change within the academy: dissonance and role conflict, or the potential for new forms of professionalism?

Jean Dillon


Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Britain face ever increasing challenges in the twenty first century as they continue to adapt to public sector management systems originally introduced under the Thatcher government administration, rapid technological advancements, globalisation and policy directives to widen participation. This paper initially foregrounds the changing organisational context of HEIs in Britain by drawing upon relevant literature and case study examples from a post-1992 University. The paper goes on to illustrate some of the micro-consequences of manageralism and marketisation through widening participation and briefly assesses their impact vis-à-vis gender, the pedagogical relationship and workload intensification. The author argues that recent trends and associated organisational changes within HEIs in Britain have led to dissonance and role conflict and the erosion of academic professionalism, but that new forms of professionalism are possible


managerialism, marketisation, professionalism, widening participation

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