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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Contemporary influences on institutional policy and practice are analysed based on studies in 23 HE institutions in the United Kingdom, involving 183 interviews. The implications of a diversifying workforce are considered in the context of institutional responses to more market-oriented systems, and the delicate balance with traditional academic governance. In particular, consideration is given to the critical role of middle managers such as heads of department and research leaders in adjusting and implementing institutional policy. As a result, new roles have arisen in the form of network governance. These require skills of flexibility, communication, and expectation management, so as to facilitate new forms of governance in less certain conditions. Two contrasting case studies illustrate tensions and dilemmas that arise.

Keywords: university management, middle managers, workforce diversification, network governance, policy and practice

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