Accounting for research: Academic responses to research performance demands in an Australian university

Martin-Sardesai, Ann Veena, Irvine, Helen J., Tooley, Stuart, & Guthrie, James (2016) Accounting for research: Academic responses to research performance demands in an Australian university. Australian Accounting Review. (In Press)

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Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of individual academics about performance management systems developed by an Australian university to meet government research assessment requirements. Using a case study method, the research examines the period 2006–2010 within a university, relying on academics’ responses to a survey on the effect of research performance management systems, contextualised with publicly available organisational documents. The case study university performed well in the Australian Government’s first research assessment exercise, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2010. However, academics reported increasing levels of stress and decreasing job satisfaction, consistent with research that identifies the commodification of academic research. This process of commodification has occurred as a result of the implementation of performance management systems (PMS) designed to assess academics’ research-focused performance and thereby strengthen the university’s performance under ERA. In investigating in detail the responses of individual academics to Australia’s research assessment initiative, the paper reveals a disconnect between the macro-institutional demands placed on the higher education sector, university changes made to accommodate these demands, and the ability of academics to meet these demands in a sustainable way.

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ID Code: 96463
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Academics, Australian higher education sector, Excellence in Research for Australia, Job satisfaction, Performance management systems, HERN
ISSN: 1035-6908
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 CPA Australia
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2016 04:13
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2016 22:57

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