Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Is it management or managerialism?

I know that 'management' and 'managerialism' are not the same things. Managers use the word 'management' and academics use the word 'managerialism'. It gets tricky when so many academics are managers as well. Which side are they on?

I'm being overly-simplistic (and facetious) again, but I wanted to bring in another 'taster' of the very interesting debates we will be having at the Symposium.

Kathleen Lynch of University College Dublin takes a critical view of managerialism in higher education. In her plenary presentation at the Symposium she is going to bring a much-needed (in my opinion) gendered analysis into the debate. Her talk is entitled 'Care-less Cultures: New Managerialism and the "Care-Ceiling" in Higher Education' in which she draws on a recent study of senior management posts in higher education in Ireland. She will argue that: "Having equal opportunities policies, work-life balance programmes and campaigns to encourage women to seek top-level promotions will have little substantive impact on women’s chances of leading universities and higher education colleges when the jobs are increasingly defined as precluding those who have care-full lives outside of work."

She will go on to suggest that there is a need to conduct research on "what is happening in gender and care terms in higher education in Ireland, especially in universities, as new managerialism would seem to be reinforcing gender and family status inequalities."

There are about a million things I want to say about the idea of a 'care-less culture' in higher education, but I am going to try to hold back for now.

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