Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


A multi-disciplinary project entitled ‘New Managerialism and the Management of UK Universities’ was conducted by a team of researchers based at Lancaster University between October 1998 and November 2000. The study was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (grant no R000237661). The project was designed to examine the extent to which ‘New Managerialism’, a set of reforms of the management of publicly-funded services popular with many western governments, was perceived to have permeated the management of UK universities. The study also explored the roles, practices, selection, learning and support of manager-academics. The first phase of the study comprised focus group discussions with learned societies from several disciplines where respondents considered what was currently happening to the management of universities. The second phase involved interviews with 135 manager-academics (from Head of Department to Vice Chancellor) and 29 senior administrators in 12 pre-1992 and post-1992 universities. The interviews explored the backgrounds, current management practices and perceptions of respondents. In phase 3, case studies of the cultures and management of four universities enabled comparison of the views of manager-academics with those of academics and support staff.


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