Academics’ responses to the implementation of a quality agenda

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Publication details

Brunetto, Y & Farr-Wharton, R 2005, 'Academics’ responses to the implementation of a quality agenda', Quality in Higher Education, vol. 11, 2, pp. 161-180.

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This paper proposes a new implementation model that bases implementation outcomes on the responses of academics to a new policy. The model is derived from a review of policy and organisational behaviour literature. The model was tested within the context of the implementation of significant reforms aimed at changing the work practices of academics operating in the Australian higher education sector, in particular reforms resulting from the implementation of a quality initiative in the early 1990s, at approximately the same time as the advent of managerialism. The findings were used to modify the original model. The major finding is that the long‐established organisational culture is maintained and reinforced by the actions of senior academics undertaking management responsibilities. As such, the factors organisational culture and leadership combine to form a strong force that acts to mediate proposed organisational changes according to established values and beliefs. The revised model contributes to a better understanding of how academics respond during the implementation of change. The revised model may have relevance for similar types of professionals in public institutions, such as public research institutions, hospitals, schools and some welfare agencies.

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