eCite Digital Repository

Academic work and performativity


Kenny, J, Academic work and performativity, Higher Education, 74, (5) pp. 897-913. ISSN 0018-1560 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10734-016-0084-y


Neoliberal reforms in higher education have resulted in corporate managerial practices in universities and a drive for efficiency and productivity in teaching and research. As a result, there has been an intensification of academic work, increased stress for academics and an emphasis on accountability and performativity in universities. This paper critically examines these developments in institutions and draws on evidence from universities across the sector and a detailed case study in one university to identify the impacts of these changes on academic work. Given its ubiquity and the link of academic productivity to institutional experience, the paper argues that assumptions underpinning academic performance management need to be rethought to recognise the fundamentally intrinsic motivational nature of academic work. The paper explores the effects of performance management on individual academics as a case study in one institution and proposes a re-design of academic performance management to improve productivity based on the evidence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:higher education, performance management, academic workload, neo-liberalism
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kenny, J (Associate Professor John Kenny)
ID Code:113044
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-12-08
Last Modified:2017-11-20
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page