A Comparison of Academic Staff Management Practices in Chinese and Australian Universities

By Xiaoli Jiang, Xinhui Xu, Xiaoping Ma and Laurie Prosser.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study investigated five Chinese higher education institutions in relation to management of academic staff. The study compared these practices with those used in three Australian universities. The results demonstrated that the Chinese universities provide more freedom to academic staff in terms of how staff spend their time at the university. However, there are more strict measures to control teaching staff’s punctuality in attending their classes and to have detailed planning and teaching documentation. There are also additional teaching evaluations at both school and university levels, together with student evaluation.

Chinese higher education staff management places greater emphasis on extrinsic financial rewards to improve staff performance than do their Australian counterparts. The income of Chinese academic staff is performance based and closely connected to their teaching, supervision, research and management workload. This approach initially came from the West and is now adopted by Chinese higher education management, reflecting Chinese socialist principles regarding income distribution. This measure of distribution is a very important motivational factor designed to enhance staff performance. This study provides an understanding as to the reasons why differences exist in management practices in China and Australia and offers some explanations from historical, political and social culture perspectives. This research identifies both positive and negative aspects of the two systems and suggests that learning good management practices from each other may bring positive changes to the productivity of higher education in both countries.

Keywords: Chinese higher education, Academic staff management, Australian Practices

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.39-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 589.588KB).

Dr. Xiaoli Jiang

Lecturer and course coordinator of the Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), School of Behavioural & Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Xiaoli Jiang has diverse research interests in the areas of global migration and culture change, cross-culture self-esteem, self-esteem and well-being of Asian migrants, and children's self-esteem.

Asst Prof. Xinhui Xu

Associate Professor, School of Foreign Languages, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Xiaoping Ma

Associate Professor, School of Sports Economic Management, Central Finance and Economics University, Beijing, Beijing, China

Dr. Laurie Prosser

Manager, Research and Development, K.I.D.S. Foundation, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia


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