The business of the university: research, its place in the 'business', and the role of the university in society

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dc.contributor.author Zornes, Deborah
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-05T22:54:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-05T22:54:48Z
dc.date.copyright 2012 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-09-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/4249
dc.description.abstract Neoliberal ideologies have been adopted through most of the developed world. In North America, they dominate and provide the backdrop for the way decisions are made, organisations are governed, and policies are considered and implemented. Universities have not been exempt from the pressures of neoliberalism and increasingly are becoming what is being referred to as ‘corporatised’. Using a multi-institutional ethnographic case study, drawing on elements of institutional ethnography and using discourse analysis and interviews, this research focused on these topics with four research intensive universities in British Columbia: UBC, UNBC, UVic and SFU. This research sought to answer the question: In what ways is corporatisation visible in the practices and discourses related to university research in British Columbia, and, in turn, what impacts are being felt? The findings from the research indicated that there is, as might be expected, strong support for post-secondary education. The rhetoric in the documents from the universities and governments shows a ‘grand vision’ for education as the cornerstone of a successful society. The findings confirm that universities are viewed internally and externally as important and that, in turn, research and discovery is paramount. However, what the research also showed was that there are differing views among those in power regarding how that vision plays out. Those differences can be summarized as: citizen preparation versus job training; social innovation versus commercial innovation; targeted research (both in the type of research carried out and to what ends); and the level of autonomy of the university. These tensions can be considered through the theoretical frameworks that guided the research: commodification (i.e., of education and research); resource dependence theory; and institutional theory. Universities are increasingly being corporatised and this is visible in: increased oversight and control by governments with regard to the direction of the university, both from an educational and research perspective; an emphasis on the fiscal bottom line; increased accountability requirements (in complexity and frequency) related to funding for educational programs and research; increased demands for, and focus on, demonstrable impacts and quantifiable measures from research; a reduced amount of collegial governance; increased bureaucracy; and pressures to adopt business models, practices, and processes from the private sector. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject university en_US
dc.subject universities en_US
dc.subject corporatization en_US
dc.subject corporatisation en_US
dc.subject commodification of education en_US
dc.subject commodification of research en_US
dc.subject commercialisation of research en_US
dc.subject commercialization of research en_US
dc.subject post-secondary education en_US
dc.subject resource dependence theory en_US
dc.subject institutional theory en_US
dc.subject business models en_US
dc.subject accountability en_US
dc.subject neoliberalism en_US
dc.subject social innovation en_US
dc.subject targeted research en_US
dc.title The business of the university: research, its place in the 'business', and the role of the university in society en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Carroll, William K.
dc.contributor.supervisor Clover, Darlene E.
dc.degree.department Interdisciplinary Graduate Program en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.rights.temp Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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