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ERIC Number: EJ1066003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1359 6748
Knaves, Knights or Networks: Which Assumption of Lecturer and Manager Motivation Should Underlie Further Education Policy?
Boocock, Andrew
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v20 n2 p173-192 2015
Julian Le Grand, a well-known economist, identifies two types of public sector employee: knights (with altruistic motives) and knaves (with self-interested motives). He argues that the quasi-market, predicated on the assumption of knavish behaviour (or agent self-interest), is the most effective way of directing school managers and teachers towards improving education outputs at lower unit cost. In this article, a review of the literature on the English post-incorporation further education quasi-market is undertaken (under the Conservative government [1993-1997], New Labour [1997-2010] and the Coalition government [2010-2014]) to assess if such a premise is correct. The conclusion from the review is that an over-focus on policy, premised on agent self-interest, effects limited improvements in the quality of education outputs and needs-based equity for disadvantaged students because such policy marginalises other motivational inputs, such as intrinsic motivation, professional values and tacit knowledge from the production process. The solution, much of the FE literature suggests, is the replacement of top-down policy with democratic local governance and participative leadership as a means of encouraging intrinsically motivated tutors and managers (or knights) to meet economic and social goals through the productive potential of learning cultures (or networks).
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A