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Organizational change in an Australian university: Responses to a research assessment exercise

journal contribution
posted on 21.12.2017, 00:00 by A Martin-Sardesai, H Irvine, S Tooley, J Guthrie
The objective of this paper is to explore the way internal organizational control processes are changed in response to external demands. It does this by investigating the organizational change undertaken by an Australian university in anticipation of, and in response to, an externally imposed research assessment exercise (RAE), specifically focusing on the university's internal research-related performance management system (PMS) and its impact on academics. It adopts a case study method, using data from publicly available documents, interviews with senior management, and a survey administered to academics. The data is interpreted and analyzed using Broadbent and Laughlin's organizational change model. The findings reveal that RAE was anticipated with the appointment of new senior leadership, a new vision, restructure of faculties and departments, and changes to the research PMS. The changes to both the university's mission (significant and longlasting, second order change) and its internal systems (less significant, first order change) are evident. In the context of the global proliferation of PMSs in the higher education sector, this paper contributes to the literature on PMSs, indicating its relevance to universities. Its empirics provide useful insights for university managers and regulators and, more broadly, the paper contributes to our understanding of organizational change. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

History

Volume

49

Issue

4

Start Page

399

End Page

412

Number of Pages

14

eISSN

1095-8347

ISSN

0890-8389

Publisher

Elsevier

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Macquarie University; Queensland University of Technology

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

The British Accounting Review

Exports