Leadership and Cooperation in Academia
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Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management

Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson

Across the world academic institutions are being questioned by their stakeholders and pressured to change. Answering these questions requires that academics and professional managers in universities think about their work, its value and organisation. The book highlights the need for space and stimulus to reflect on the responsibilities, roles and expectations that they identify for themselves, and that others place upon them – then, they might be better able to understand and to act. Similarly, policymakers and higher education commentators need the space and stimulus to reflect on the role of universities. This book will provide this space and an invaluable contribution to the stimulus.
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Chapter 8: Motivational resilience in the university system

Silvia Sacchetti


Academia has been going through a process of change, which some authors say is increasingly mimicking the aims, modalities and values of traditional business (Sugden, 2004; Wedlin, 2008; Grönblom and Willner, 2009; Wilson, 2009; Parker, 2011). In particular, the competition for funding has endorsed the use of specific incentive systems that are aimed at influencing the motivations of academics and the capacity of departments to obtain research funds. For the purpose of this work we shall think of academics as individuals who can contribute to the creation of novel explanations by means of enquiry, and comment on the possible implications that current incentive systems may have on academics’ endurance to problematize situations, raise questions and look for possible answers. Specifically, we explore the elements of the domains that surround academics and how these interact with their motivations. Across a number of disciplines, including management, psychology, sociology and economics, there is an overarching agreement on the fact that human motivations importantly shape the nature of social and economic action, determining the effectiveness of organizations and their activities.

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