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ERIC Number: EJ1138954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
Perspectives on the University as a Business: The Corporate Management Structure, Neoliberalism and Higher Education
Taylor, Arthur
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v15 n1 p108-135 Mar 2017
In the past three decades, the administration of many institutions of higher education have progressed towards a corporate style management structure. What has been a collegial, collaborative approach to managing the institution has given way to a top-down, corporate style management intensely focused on revenues, and directing rather than collaborating with faculty. Some educational policy literature has identified the growth of neoliberalism in the past three decades as largely responsible for this trend. However, the structure and practice of the corporate form of business organization as applied to institutes of higher education, an increase in corporate activism, and increased influence of corporate managers on university boards represent an influence that has been lightly documented in neoliberal critiques of higher education. Corporate business practice today operates based on business theories such as disruptive innovation and shareholder value maximization. These practices focus on the pursuit of profit with general disregard for social consequences of the businesses activities. The use of corporate management practices in higher education minimizes both non-economic educational values and the traditional role of the university as a locus of knowledge creation and dissemination within society. This paper will examine the dissonance between the operation of the university as a corporate-style business and the traditional educational mission of the university. Historical analysis will be used to examine the development of the modern university and its academic mission, the growth of neoliberalism from market fundamentalism, and the development of the corporate form of business governance and its gradual development into the amoral, asocial form which exists today. The paper will provide perspectives and critiques on the corporate business management structure and practice, specifically in the form practiced today, and its use in higher education.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A