(Un)Conditional surrender? Why do professionals willingly comply with managerialism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to explore the question – why do professionals surrender their autonomy? This paper looks at the case of academics, in particular business school academics. It traces how this group of professionals have progressively surrendered their autonomy and complied with the demands of managerialism.

Design/methodology/approach
– This largely theoretical paper looks to develop an understanding of (over)compliance with the bureaucratization of research using the four faces of power – coercive, agenda setting, ideological and discursive.

Findings
– The discussion of this paper argues that the surrendering of autonomy has been reinforced through coercive forms of power like rewards and punishment and bureaucratization; manipulation and mainstreaming through pushing a particular version of research to the top of the agenda; domination through shaping norms and values; and subjectification through creating new identities.

Originality/value
– The paper explores how academics deal with tensions and paradoxes such as compliance and resistance, as well as love of work and loathing of it. To deal with these paradoxes, academics often treat their work as a game and see themselves as players. While this process enables academics to reconcile themselves with their loss of autonomy, it has troubling collective outcomes: the production of increasing uninteresting and irrelevant research.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Cass Business School
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration

Keywords

  • Academia, Autonomy, Power, Control
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes