Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management
Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson
Chapter 8: Motivational resilience in the university system
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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