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Managing changing practice DCAD Symposium 6 th November 2009 Paul Blackmore King’s College London.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing changing practice DCAD Symposium 6 th November 2009 Paul Blackmore King’s College London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing changing practice DCAD Symposium 6 th November 2009 Paul Blackmore King’s College London

2 The session The context for higher education Academic work and motivation What universities are like What universities might become Implications for leading and managing

3 Dissolving boundaries Mass education system Education as a commodity in a market Globalisation Third stream activity Mode 2 knowledge Differing missions

4 Mass Education Growth in students (40% UK, 57% Ireland participation) Growth in staff (up 25% in UK 2006-11) More diverse student population Vocationalism

5 Education as a commodity Competition for students Transferable academic credit Modular curricula Learning outcomes Student as a consumer with rights

6 Changes in purposes of learning From “is it true?” to “what use is it?” “…doing rather than knowing, and performance rather than understanding … there is a mistrust of all things that cannot easily be quantified or measured” Barnett

7 Globalization International competition leading to state intervention in HE Concern for quality Staff and student flows – real and virtual Borderless education? E-learning?

8 Third stream activity Trans-disciplinary “mode 2” knowledge produced in the context of application Closer links with industry and commerce Emphasis on highly applied research Research parks, spin-out companies For some, third stream as a second activity

9 Research Increasing concentration In UK 75% QR and 80% RCGs to 25 institutions Internationally collaborative Often interdisciplinary Evaluated partly on impact

10 Government policy Universities now seen as economic necessities Social and cultural contribution? Business links UK Skills agenda Leitch – low productivity per hour; skills holding UK back Sainsbury – Review of science and innovation - the race to the top Mandelson – Building Britain’s future - New industry, new jobs CBI – Stronger together - Businesses and universities in turbulent times Funding reductions (5%pa to 2014) UK and Ireland 1.3% US 2.9% GDP (1% public)

11 Managerialism Customer and market orientation Strengthened right to manage- sometimes at a distance Growth of cross-institutional management Quality and accountability Weakening academic influence

12 Universities as a product of their context ‘… the autonomies that the university has enjoyed for eight hundred years are being reduced as it becomes interconnected with the wider society both nationally and globally.’ (Barnett, 2003) Market-led discourses of excellence have replaced the traditional relationship between scholarship and society (Readings, 1996) ‘Academic capitalism’ (Bleiklie & Powell, 2005) In some universities, ‘corporate colonisation’ with the hallowed corridors of academia being taken over by the forces of marketisation and corporatism (Casey, 1995) BUT Myth of a ‘golden age’? (Burgess, 2007)

13 Questions arising … Where do we ‘place’ ourselves in this? How are teaching and learning changing? What capabilities do we need – individually and collectively? …. and who are “we”?

14 What sort of organisation is a university? “in order to succeed in its various joint endeavours … all the university’s staff should be encouraged to develop a shared sense of purpose and direction. “.. but is a university really that sort of organisation? Is it an organisation at all?” (Thackwray, Chambers and Huxley, 2005).

15 Academic change “You think … that you have only to state a reasonable case, and people must listen to reason and act upon it at once...has it occurred to you that nothing is ever done until everyone is convinced … and has been convinced for so long that it is now time to do something else? …conviction has never been produced by an appeal to reason … you must address your arguments to prejudice and the political motive” Cornford: Microcosmographia Academica

16 Universities as organised anarchies Problematic goals Unclear technology Fluid participation (Cuthbert)

17 Organisational Culture … a shared set of meanings, beliefs, understandings and ideas; in short, a taken-for granted way of life, in which there is a reasonably clear difference between those on the inside and those on the outside of the community. Barnett,1990

18 Dopson & McNay, 1996 COLLEGIAL BUREAUCRATIC ENTREPRENEURIAL CORPORATE e.g. Oxbridge cult of the individual management by consensus person culture rules and regulations management by committees role culture awareness of the market management by marketing task culture directorate with power management by meetings power culture Organisational cultures COLLEGIAL

19 Anything special about academia? Free availability of knowledge? Disciplinary basis? Autonomy? Creativity? Critique? Ethics?

20 Surveying academic role Motivated by work not salary Work hours increasing, esp administration Satisfaction and security falling Late career most negative Mid-career most stressed Part-time and casual staff increasing New and established staff teach similarly New staff more research orientated McInnis

21 Job satisfaction Less satisfied than UK workforce as a whole Salary Qualitative aspects of job Promotion and job security Research major source of satisfaction but increasing pressure Most prefer a job involving teaching, but Student assessment Admin (inc QA) are negatives Fixed term contracts reduce satisfaction level UUK

22 Performance review Universally – makes no difference Instead: standing of role among colleagues intrinsic interest or otherwise career benefit doing a good job / supporting students CML project

23 Negative effects “Absolutely none with me, that’s not what drives me. In fact I think it’s a very negative thing in my experience in leading within the team. There are the experiences when you say to someone: “Oh do you think you could do that?”, whereas in the past they’d say “yes, no problem” because they know that you would do something else to help them out, and now they will say: “Well it’s not on my appraisal, it’s not one of my targets, so I'm not going to do that, so there”. Interviewee, CML Project

24 Prestige economy On literary prizes: “How is such prestige produced, and where does it reside? In people? In things? In relationships between people and things? What rules govern its circulation?” (English, 2007) NB: prestige can be “cashed in” for money.

25 Features of the prestige economy Ideas Publications Citations Exhibitions Keynotes Leading disciplinary / professional groups Expert status on reviews and other panels External examining

26 Intersecting economies Money economy Prestige economy Learning Academic habitus – in tension / negotiation Applied research Academic capitalism Academic socialism? Intrinsic motivation Intrinsic / extrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Economic capital Cultural and social capital

27 Some ways forward


29 The CML project 29 role holders in two institutions Critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) No prior professional training Often given responsibility very early on Roles were seldom set out as formal job descriptions Responsibility but not authority to act Institutional procedures unhelpful Hard to describe how they had learnt anything.

30 Leadership? Conceived of largely as administration, mainly dealing with: students colleagues QA NOT pedagogic leadership discipline leadership

31 Leaders, managers, academics and administrators leaders make it wanted, managers make it happen, administrators make it work. McNay, I. (2003)

32 Everyone leads … “a practical and everyday process of supporting, managing, developing and inspiring academic colleagues” “…can and should be exercised by everyone, from the vice-chancellor to the casual car parking attendant” Ramsden (1998)

33 … in a particular context Distributed and embedded in context “much of the work of leading is contingent … it involves dealing with the specifics of a time, a place and a set of people” (Knight & Trowler, 2001)

34 Universal leadership? “Leaders tend to possess and exemplify the qualities expected or required in their working groups … the head of an engineering group ought to exemplify the qualities of an engineer, otherwise he will not gain or hold respect. Thus a leader should mirror the group’s characteristics.” Adair, 1998

35 Challenges for Leadership creating a climate of creativity focusing on outcomes, results and delivery rather than process and procedure joining things up - addressing issues rather than bureaucratic boundaries ‘outside in attitudes’ - bringing inspiration and information from outside creating a new style of leadership based on trust and fairness: coaching, adding value, challenging creating coalitions and partnerships Sir Michael Bichard, Rector of University of the Arts SRHE Forum, April 2002

36 Principles of Academic Leadership Establish clear goals Manage tension between tradition and change Focus on outcomes Relationships are important – it is colleagues who determine whether you are the leader Be transformative (Ramsden, 2000)

37 Preparing for uncertainty A bedrock of sound academic work Fast decision-making Distributed leadership Developing capacity to learn: Strong networks Evidence-informed and aware practice Interdisciplinary and interprofessional capability Efficient and effective use of resources Recognition and reward of initiative

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