Management and Service Innovations in Australian and New Zealand Universities
Arundel, A and Bowen Butchart, D and Gatenby-Clark, SJ and Goedegebuure, L, Management and Service Innovations in Australian and New Zealand Universities, LH Martin Institute, Melbourne, Australia (2016) [Contract Report]
This report provides descriptive results for a survey on managerial and service innovations in 39 Australian and six New Zealand universities. The survey was the result of a cooperation agreement between the LH Martin Institute (LHMI) of the University of Melbourne and the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC) of the University of Tasmania.
In late 2015 and early 2016, the survey questionnaire was sent to a representative sample of senior managers and directors of 10 core managerial and administrative functions, but intentionally excluded the senior executive (the Senior Management Team (SMT)) and the Vice-Chancellor(VC). Responses were obtained from 573 senior managers or directors, for a response rate of 37.8%.
The survey questions cover seven types of innovations introduced by each respondent’s area of responsibility or ‘section’, the drivers of innovation, institutional activities supporting or inhibiting innovation, investment and resources for innovation, the use of best practise innovation strategies, the outcomes of innovation, factors causing an innovation to be abandoned or under-perform, and the obstacles to innovation.
Respondents are classified into 10 functions, based on the purpose of their area of responsibility (defined in this report as their ‘section’). For example, the functions include areas such as ‘Student services’, ‘Human resources’, and ‘Information technology/technology services’. The respondent’s function has a larger effect on most innovation activities than other factors such as the university’s performance ranking or whether or not the university is undergoing restructuring. This is due to both differences in the opportunities for innovation by function and differences in regulations and rules that constrain innovation.
The purpose of this survey is to identify what is going right for innovation in the university sector in Australia and New Zealand and what might be going wrong, as part of informing best practice and identifying problems that could be corrected. The decision on what is and is not working is based on research on the factors that enable innovation and innovation success in the private and public sectors.
innovations, universities, higher education, managerial and administrative functions