فرایند سازماندهی مجدد دانشگاه : تعریف مجدد محرک ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|273||2011||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 22, Issue 4, April 2011, Pages 434–450
Drawing on international research into changing university environments, profiles, and structures, this study applies a neo-institutional perspective to the analysis and critique of underlying developed country trends in public sector university corporatisation and commercialisation. Identifying primary environmental and historical influences, the paper focuses upon key environmental factors that have promoted the importation of new public management and private sector philosophies into universities of which a significant proportion have been traditionally identified as operating within the public sector. The findings reveal an underlying neoliberal political and economic agenda, that has laid the foundations for the profound transformation that has reconfigured universities’ governance, missions, core values and the roles of their academics. These changes emerge as mimicking private sector corporate philosophies and governance structures, as well as returning to scientific management approaches of a century ago. Accounting and accountability are revealed as conduits supporting these significant shifts in university identity and role. Their realignment with shifting societal economic preoccupations and priorities is revealed as permeating their intellectual core, commercialising knowledge production and transforming the identity and role of the academic community.
From the late 20th century onwards, many universities in developed countries have experienced an arguably exponential rate of change in their environment, structures, strategies and processes. Emerging from a period of relatively sheltered existence, serving predominantly elite and stable national markets, often supported to large degree by government funding, they have been launched into a global educational market, and required to generate more actively their own constituencies and resources. Such actions have brought profound changes in their core values, fundamental missions and overall operations. This paper addresses the apparent corporatisation and commercialisation of universities in developed countries including the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia since the 1980s. These have had particular impacts upon universities traditionally positioned as state funded entities operating in the public sector realm. The nature and magnitude of the recent shift in university identity and role can be characterised in terms of culture, governance, structure and operational focus, as a corporatisation of universities, along with the commercialisation of their missions, objectives and operations. Particularly for state owned and funded universities in the public sector, these changes not only represent dramatic reconstitutions of philosophy and societal roles, but also reflect fundamental forces that are not always entirely understood or fully appreciated. Yet such understanding of the influences and paths that have brought universities into their current situation is important for informed decision-making and actions at all levels of university stakeholders: from governments, to communities, to university management, to academics themselves. Accordingly, this paper aims to investigate and interpret the implications of underlying factors that have produced the process of university corporatisation and commercialisation. In doing so, the paper addresses five associated questions. What key environmental factors have spawned the apparent radical transformation of university identity and focus? How has government played such a central role in motivating these changes? What are the corporate characteristics that universities have imported from the private sector? What historical origins do they appear to reflect? Finally, how are these influences and changes reflected in the identity and role of academics serving within these institutions? The study applies a neo-institutional sociology (NIS) theoretical lens to a considerable array of research into university environments and changes over recent decades. The sources utilised include a range of published research that has variously employed survey, interview, case study and historical methods. The countries embodied in these published sources range predominantly across European, North American and Australia and New Zealand nations, including some OECD studies, with particular publicly available statistics and examples drawn from the Australian environment. The paper and its major sections are structured around the above research questions posed. First it offers an outline of the NIS theoretical perspective that informs the analysis and then moves on to consider the contemporary tertiary education environment that has spawned university transformations and the neoliberal revolution that produced this environment. It then addresses the question of public sector reforms and government agendas that have provided the backdrop to change in higher education. The importation into the university sector of private sector corporate concepts and philosophies is then considered, and an argument made for its reflecting historical corporate governance approaches of the scientific management school. The impacts of these changes upon the role and identity of university academics is analysed, and finally the role of accounting as a conduit for university commercialisation and corporatisation is then addressed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The transformations in universities identified and analysed in this study, have clearly been profound and far reaching. They are reflected in radically altered university missions, core values, strategies, structures and academic identities. It is instructive at this point to return to the research questions posed at the outset of this paper. With respect to the first question posed, a number of key factors emerge as driving the apparent radical transformation of university identity and focus. These include the importation of private sector philosophies into the public sector, particularly through the agency of NPM. In a globally competitive world, many governments have sought economies and efficiencies in the education sector, redefining and measuring it in economic terms and adding it to their stock of industries being managed for the generation of economic wealth. In response to the second question, government has played a central role in motivating these changes by reducing direct funding levels and forcing universities into the global marketplace, by increasing the numbers of students being directed into the university instructional system, and by requiring universities to formally respond to and address government determined national social and economic priorities. On one hand many governments have released a degree of direct control over university strategies and operations while at the same time demanding greater accountability and hence effective control over university performance KPIs and outputs. What of the corporate characteristics that universities have imported from the private sector? These oftentimes appear in the form of a hybrid corporate appearance, attempting to graft a private sector business culture and language onto a traditional public sector or public good orientation. University senior managements have been redefined in corporate structures and terminology, accountability and control mechanisms mirror a top-down corporate framework, objectives are increasingly oriented towards financial short-term targets, brand and image enhancement and operational strategies increasingly echo corporate competitive financial strategies. Such observations prompt a return to the question as to what historical origins does this pattern of behaviour appear to reflect? This paper argues that one major explanation lies in an apparent return to scientific management philosophies in vogue in the private sector on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is particularly evident in the Taylorist philosophy of top-down management planning and decision-making, the commitment to quantified performance measurement, and the incessant search for efficiency improvements. Finally we return to the question of how these influences and changes appear to be reflected in the identity and role of academics serving within these institutions. A weight of research literature on this subject suggests that for many, the collegial decision-making style has been replaced by executive management responding to government accountability pressures and revenue generating targets implicit in their employment contracts. Academic reactions are still awaiting further observation and diagnosis, but include compliance, insulation or withdrawal strategies as they try to cope with a role that is increasingly one of the knowledge worker managing increasing workloads, proliferating KPIs and an increasingly vocational, applied orientation. Overall then, university structures and processes now more often reflect a hybrid public–private sector corporate profile with a pronounced commercial orientation. They mirror national government philosophies that increasingly embrace a belief in smaller government, de-regulation, lower taxation, market based service delivery, and payment by the user. Thrust into a global educational market by governments aiming to reduce their educational investment expenditures, universities have been forced to respond to their redefinition by governments as an employment generating export industry and contributor to national economic growth. Reinforcing such coercive isomorphism has been universities’ mimetic isomorphism of the public sector's commercialisation and privatisation, reconstructing their structures and processes in the image of NPM. In addition, we find the normative isomorphic importation of private sector corporate values and operations through the arrival of the professional managerial class increasingly employed at the senior levels of university central management. Two associated outcomes have been only barely noticed by researchers and commentators to date. First is the growing homogenisation of university missions, strategies and profiles that is becoming increasingly evident. The phenomenon reflects the common forces to which universities are responding and adapting in a world marketplace that is increasingly becoming less differentiated, offering a global pool of students, international corporate sponsors and research partners, and facilitating educational delivery systems that transcend national boundaries. Second is the apparent corporate governance regression to an earlier era of scientific management. It is characterised by collegial governance structures and processes being replaced by formal authority-based direction and control exercised by the executive level of central management. Within this context, academics themselves have been redefined and reconstructed as employees and workers. Their role has been recast from knowledge creators and propagators, liberal inquirers and societal critics into vocational servants of the corporate university mission. In conclusion then, as this paper's title suggests, universities have indeed become increasingly corporatised, either as avowedly private universities, or as hybrid corporates where private sector corporate philosophies and structures have been grafted onto a public sector model. In so transforming, many of them have indeed become redefined. They have been transformed and reshaped in the market image, reflecting the profound shifts in societal and government philosophies and expectations over recent decades. These philosophies and expectations demand universal educational availability and opportunity, vocational employment oriented education, applied commercialiseable research, and direct contribution to the growth of the national economy. The economic rationalism attributed to many governments over the past 30 years, has clearly impacted on the missions, values and development of many universities. Their service orientation is now moving perceptibly towards their own private interests. Their service of the public interest has to large degree been reinterpreted and transmogrified as contributing to economic development, thereby appearing to adhere to Friedmanite economic philosophy of the 1970s, namely that the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. From a NIS perspective, it is particularly noteworthy that while there is some evidence in universities of transitory decoupling between the ‘new’ formal values, strategies and processes and informally persisting ‘traditional’ versions of these, the absorption of the corporate and commercial into university life has been comprehensive and pervasive. Universities’ re-alignment and compliance with these changed societal and governmental philosophies and expectations, while at times complex and non-linear, have been considerable and persistent, reaching deep into university structure and culture. Much remains to be uncovered and understood. Despite numbers of studies surveying academics’ attitudes, there is an evident need for longitudinal research into their degree of longer term value shifts, patterns of scholarly adaptation, strategies of resistance, and role reconstruction. In addition, the agenda for further research includes examining cases of university exceptions and divergence from the global homogenisation trend and investigation of the degree to which national and regional influences differentiate university reactions to global government and market pressures. We also await the more extensive examination of the extent to which contemporary university orientations and structures reflect or diverge from historical national tertiary education traditions of earlier eras, and how these have manifested themselves, both in the past and present. In more deeply reflecting, historically and contemporaneously, upon the social, political and institutional histories and contexts that university identity and mission have both reflected and driven, we may obtain a clearer understanding that enables our critique of the present and some influence over the trajectory of the future for the redefined university. In the end result however, the phenomenon of university corporatisation and commercialisation currently raises more questions than it answers. It has produced a radical refocussing of higher education, now repositioned to serve primary societal and governmental economic interests, but the longer term implications for the development of humanity's fundamental stock of knowledge, and its critique and development of culture, philosophy, ethics, history and the civil society are rendered uncertain and unpredictable