Chapter 10: Hybridity in higher education
Restricted access

Successive waves of higher education reform present complex challenges and tensions for staff employed in higher education institutions (HEIs). As governments increasingly position higher education in ‘terms of the economic role it can fulfil’ (McArthur, 2011, p. 737), ‘unitary business values and practices originating in the private sector are “squeezing out” broader liberal education values and goals of the public university’ (Winter and O’Donohue, 2012, pp. 565?566). Crucially, a key organisational challenge facing leaders in HEI is working out how to successfully graft a business culture onto a public sector and academic-oriented culture such that these competing values and ideals can coexist as ‘hybrid’ states and persist over time (Fethke and Policano, 2013; Mouwen, 2000; Tahar et al., 2011). In this chapter, we identify some of the leadership and management challenges that arise from the changing context of higher education and consider their implications for managers and academic staff. In making this argument we describe HEI as ‘multiple-identity’ hybrid organisations made up of competing utilitarian (managerial) and normative (professional) beliefs and values systems that challenge the existence of any unitary, fixed or stable cultural identity (Foreman and Whetten, 2002). As core cognitive beliefs, values serve as guiding principles in our conceptualisation of academic and manager identities given that they shape academics’ orientations towards teaching, research and business or community engagement (Billot, 2010; Churchman and King, 2009; Harley, 2002), and govern managers and academics’ modes of thought of how they should or ought to behave in particular higher education contexts (Barry et al., 2006; Deem et al., 2008).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account