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Grasping the poisoned chalice: managers and identity struggles in higher education
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2350-2623
2010 (English)In: GenderChange in Academia: Re-mapping the Fields of Work, Knowledge, and Politics from a Gender Perspective / [ed] Birgit Riegraf; Brigitte Aulenbacher; Edit Kirsch-Auwärter; Ursula Müller, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper considers higher education in Sweden and England and examines the managerial and organizational changes that have taken place in a context where academics are involved in ‘identity work’ in relation to New Public Management. The paper has two aims: first to explore understandings that women academics have of their work situation in academe in relation to New Public Management; and second in what way they shape their identities in academe in relation to teaching, research, management and managerial changes. The methodology is social constructionist and makes use of discourse analysis where the assumption is that people express through the way they talk how they understand their lives. Identities are conceptualised as multifaceted and fluid, located in processes that engage with increasing managerial control attempts, within specific sites and particular ‘cultures’. The findings indicate that an early decision in respect of managerial aspirations is important since respondents report difficulties in combining teaching, research and management. The findings also suggest that academics who, early in their career, choose to become managers lose research, something that can be a dead–end position for some academics. Some realize that acceptance of management positions are something of a poisoned chalice because of the sacrifices that follow– particularly if they identify themselves as research-active. The results indicate that women find it difficult to maintain a research active identity when competition for research funding has increasingly become the only means for realising individual research activity, especially in Sweden. Assuming management positions it seems, turns out to require unpleasant compromises and sacrifices for those academics who seek to develop a managerial identity in the fluid processes of change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010.
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Gender and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-30720Local ID: 49fc9b80-ca11-11de-b769-000ea68e967bISBN: 3531168320 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-30720DiVA, id: diva2:1003949
Conference
Gender change in Academia : Re-mapping the fields of work, knowledge, and politics from a gender perspective 13/02/2009 - 15/02/2009
Note
Godkänd; 2010; 20091105 (elbe)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2018-05-18Bibliographically approved

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Berg, Elisabeth

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