English Universities: Managerial Movement from Academic Collegial Administration to Corporate Managerialism (1960-2013)
The aim of the research in this MA by Research thesis has been to shed light on the development of the notion of “management” and its associated “sociometrics” at UK universities. The research looked at the transformation of university operating strategies in England and Wales, with the objective of capturing the various managerial movements from a traditional collegial administrative operating system to a more diverse entrepreneurial model more aligned with contemporary corporate management beliefs. 8 diverse universities were selected for the case-study to provide “colour and contrast” – namely, Oxford and Cambridge as “Ancient” universities, Cardiff and Royal Holloway as “19th Century-Founded” universities, Birmingham to cover the “Red Brick” category, Lancaster to spotlight the so-called “Plate-Glass” universities, Hertfordshire to embrace the “Post-Polytechnic” universities and Open University to include the “E-University” category. The methodology utilized was a triangulated middle-ground approach to examine qualitatively and quantitatively the universities websites, strategic documents, government committee reports, regulations and financial performance information that reflected surplus/deficit results as outcomes for the targeted group. The lessons learned from this investigation showed that these universities modus operandi and performance reflected an ongoing trend of transformation imposed by continuous government regulatory change requirements on the one hand, and most likely also, the changing sector climate in the higher education community in England and Wales. The findings from the research indicate that scholastic writings and the literature have extensively chronicled the movement from ‘collegial’ administration to academic entrepreneurialism. However, it appears to be an open question as to whether a common corporate strategic wording language had emerged by 2002: though it had basically, by 2012. In both 2002 and 2012 a recognizable core of sociometric wording language was discernible. And finally some slender evidence was uncovered that indicates where substantial effort was put out by the universities in strategic planning, better financial results accrued. Significant contributions to overall knowledge have been uncovered as a result of this thesis research. The movement by UK universities from ‘academic collegial administration’ to academic entrepreneurialism’ has been verified by multiple academic writings. UK universities have developed a measurable increase in the use of common ‘strategic sociometric wording’ and a greatly increased the use of strategic management and corporatised-wording in their published literature. And lastly, some modest evidence supports a finding that better financial results do appear to have emanated where considerable strategic planning effort was put out.