TH-P01-093 - Silencing of the academic voice: The personal and professional impact on the academic.

Management of emotions at work
Poster Presentation
3 hours 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Emotion in the workplace
Management of emotions at work
Silencing of the academic voice: The personal and professional impact on the academic.
B. Ryan*
Content: Purpose
Contemporary research on voice and silence has been carried out in a variety of settings in the public and private sectors (Detert et al, 2014) but there is a dearth of research into the voice of academics in post 1992 universities.  There is ample research on New Public Management (NPM), managerialism and the marketization of Higher Education (HE) but little on the impact of these policies on the voice of the academic (Wilson, 2001). Academics, once a powerful group of professionals, have experienced an erosion of autonomy and an increase in managerial control (Farrell and Morris 2010). This research explores the extent to which academics are silenced in the current Higher Education environment.
This is a small in depth study involving ten experienced (minimum 5 years) middle ranking (AC4/principal and AC3/senior lecturers). Snowball sampling was used to obtain one hour interviews. This is sensitive research because ‘there are potential consequences or implications, either directly for the participants in the research or the class of individuals represented by the research’ (Lee, 1993:4). 
Early results indicate academics who dissent from the dominant discourse experience powerlessness, marginalisation and loss of professional identity. Associated health issues are sleeplessness and loss of confidence.
All data was collected from one institution using snowball sampling.
Research/Practical Implications
There are implications for HE managers and policy makers as experienced academics withdraw from the dominant discourse.
This study highlights the loss of diverse views within HE and the marginalisation of academics who voice dissent.


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