How academics respond, adapt and cope with the transformational changes in the Australian Higher Education Sector

Comodromos, George (2016) How academics respond, adapt and cope with the transformational changes in the Australian Higher Education Sector. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The objective of this thesis is to investigate the work life factors of Australian academics and see which of these lead to the adoption of transformational change. The context of the thesis is the Higher Education Sector and the research examines the metamorphic changes in this sector that have been mostly driven by neo-liberal and deregulation policies by successive governments over the past three decades. The thesis adopts and develops the constructivist grounded theory method. The primary data source was developed from face-to-face interviews with 33 (male and female) academics from Monash and Melbourne universities, conducted over a period of five months. These two universities were chosen from the Group of Eight (Go8) elite universities in Australia because they are highly resourced, quality branded and populated with high academic performance students. They represent Australian academics working at their peak performance and their personnel are considered the most highly regarded in the sector. Constructivist grounded theory, as presented by Charmaz (2010), was chosen as a methodology for this thesis because the ontological perspective that reality is created within a social construct and the epistemological perspective that the researcher and participants are both actively involved in the construction of the grounded theory, best suits the mindset of the researcher and the research question. The findings of the research resonate with the literature of institutional change, particularly that of Thelen and Mahoney (2010), and the typology of academics that was created from the research findings further contributes to knowledge in the area of change management theory. The intention of this thesis is to provide a platform to launch further research into the area of organisational change management, particularly in the Higher Education Sector.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Business
Keywords adaption, coping, work culture, workplace, organisational transformational change, change management, transition, business models, management style, leadership, commercialisation, teaching, teachers, students, personal experiences, research, collegiality, IT, educational technology, policy, neoliberalism, work-life balance, Australia
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