Academic Profession Hubris or Hybrid - the Case in Finnish Universities.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Taru SIEKKINEN, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Elias PEKKOLA, University of Tampere, Faculty of Management, Finland
Teresa CARVALHO, University of Aveiro and CIPES, Portugal
The academic profession is changing because of internal and external pressures, such as the influence of the global economic recession. Due to the requirements for more efficiency and also the invasion of managerial practices from private-sector to public-sector organisations, academics are increasingly more managed inside their organisations – universities. Traditionally, professional values have been confronted with managerial ones; to professionals, managerial values and practices have meant increasing the amount of control and emphasizing accountability, profitability and efficiency, for example. However, recent research is emphasizing the hybrid model, where professional and managerial values and principles come together. In our paper, we are considering if the academic profession is changing towards being a hybrid profession. In this study, we have a survey data from a Nordic project, focusing on the effects of management reforms in the Nordic countries. The Finnish data includes responses from 956 senior academics. The initial data analysis implies that in Finnish Universities there are hybrid models of coordination, authority, and values. Academics' attitudes towards performance evaluation are quite positive, for instance. This study is important when aiming to understand the nature of the academic work in changing and unpredictable environment, as well as the academic professionals adapting to those changes in contemporary universities. Moreover, we need more knowledge on what the managerial values and practices actually mean and how they emerge in universities and how academics could be managed well inside their working organisation – in the university.