Mismanaging Knowledge: The Hidden Costs of Higher Education ‘Reform’ in Australia

By Jennifer May Rindfleish.

Published by The Organization Collection

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

Australian universities continue to undergo upheaval in their governance and management due to a reform agenda driven by a Liberal Federal Government. The reform agenda drives numerous processes throughout the sector such as, the ‘Research Quality Framework’ process, the ‘Academic Renewal’ process, wide-scale organizational restructuring and changes to the working conditions of employees. The paper undertakes a review of the continuing debates between various stakeholders involved in university governance and management in Australia. These groups include; the Federal Government; various government ‘think tanks’; academics; university managers; and the National Tertiary Education Union. The analysis shows that a complex, contradictory and adversarial debate continues amongst the stakeholders concerning the ‘hidden costs’ to the sector of the reform agenda. The paper concludes that these hidden costs are unmanageable and lead to unclear goals and outcomes for universities in Australia. The implications of such hidden costs threaten the global competitiveness of a sector that is of critical importance to a healthy future for Australia in the global economy. Further research needs to identify mechanisms that build consensus and cohesion between the stakeholders in order to secure the global competitiveness of the sector.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Australian Federal Government Reform Agenda, Higher Education, Global Competitiveness

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp.107-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.146KB).

Dr. Jennifer May Rindfleish

Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Jennifer is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business, Economics and Public Policy at the University of New England who teaches Marketing Communications and Consumer Behaviour in the MBA program and at the undergraduate level. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Social Science, a Masters of Letters in Sociology and a PhD in Sociology from the University of New England. Her workplace experience spans 36 years and ranges across diverse occupations such as QANTAS Ground Engineer, Nursing training,Travel guide for Western Australian Tourist Bureau, QANTAS international flight attendant, and QANTAS Corporate marketing coordinator. Her current academic research interests include university management and marketing, gender in organizations and consumption and self-identity.


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