Academics at play: Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding

Standard

Academics at play : Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor. / Butler, Nick; Spoelstra, Sverre.

2018. Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding

Harvard

Butler, N & Spoelstra, S 2018, 'Academics at play: Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor' Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States, 2018/08/10 - 2018/08/14, . https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

APA

Butler, N., & Spoelstra, S. (2018). Academics at play: Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor. Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

CBE

Butler N, Spoelstra S. 2018. Academics at play: Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor. Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

MLA

Vancouver

Butler N, Spoelstra S. Academics at play: Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor. 2018. Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

Author

Butler, Nick ; Spoelstra, Sverre. / Academics at play : Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor. Paper presented at 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018, Chicago, United States.

RIS

TY - CONF

T1 - Academics at play

T2 - Why the “publication game” is more than a metaphor

AU - Butler, Nick

AU - Spoelstra, Sverre

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - It is increasingly common for academic work to be described as a ‘publication game’. For some, the idea of academic game-playing serves as a convenient metaphor for explaining concrete phenomenon such as professional advancement or instrumental careerism in the context of national research assessments such as the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK. However, we suggest that academic game-playing should not solely be understood in metaphorical terms. Rather, we propose that many of the attributes of play – as articulated by play theorists – can be usefully applied to understand and problematize academic research under the contemporary ‘regime of excellence’. Drawing on extensive interviews with critical management scholars, we argue that academia is characterized by a ‘lusory attitude’ towards research; this means that scholars relate to their work as players relate to a game. Ultimately, we seek to show how the separation between ‘mere’ game-playing and ‘real’ research is not possible to maintain in practice. In doing so, we also problematize the ‘separation thesis’ in play theory, which holds that play, by its very nature, is strictly separated from ‘reality’.

AB - It is increasingly common for academic work to be described as a ‘publication game’. For some, the idea of academic game-playing serves as a convenient metaphor for explaining concrete phenomenon such as professional advancement or instrumental careerism in the context of national research assessments such as the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK. However, we suggest that academic game-playing should not solely be understood in metaphorical terms. Rather, we propose that many of the attributes of play – as articulated by play theorists – can be usefully applied to understand and problematize academic research under the contemporary ‘regime of excellence’. Drawing on extensive interviews with critical management scholars, we argue that academia is characterized by a ‘lusory attitude’ towards research; this means that scholars relate to their work as players relate to a game. Ultimately, we seek to show how the separation between ‘mere’ game-playing and ‘real’ research is not possible to maintain in practice. In doing so, we also problematize the ‘separation thesis’ in play theory, which holds that play, by its very nature, is strictly separated from ‘reality’.

U2 - 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

DO - 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.32

M3 - Paper, not in proceeding

ER -