An interesting (short) article on where academic loyalty lies, and the need for academic managers to recognise the professionalism of academics, rather than viewing them as ‘products’ for students:
In conclusion, the study – titled Academic Leadership: Changing Conceptions, Identities and Experiences in UK Higher Education – offers a series of possible ways forward.
For example, university managers “anxious to encourage high levels of performance” would be best advised to “step back from mechanistic managerial approaches, and to emphasise instead the values associated with academic excellence”.
Other concluding principles include the need to “engage with academics as professionals” instead of as a human resource to be applied in the service of students or “customers”.
Universities are also advised to “safeguard ‘membership’ of the academic community”, a principle that may be at odds with the changing higher education landscape, the study acknowledges. “Competition between universities will become characteristic of the sector, driving attempts by management to emphasise academics’ loyalty to the institution rather than their scholarly disciplines and networks,” it says.
“However, we should reiterate that we found little sense that academics generally identify with their employing institution.
Read full article.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.