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Universities have been undergoing major changes in scope of activities, structures, processes and relationships since late in the 20th century. This paper critically examines some of the dimensions of these changes, reflecting on the spectrum of environmental forces and internal resource pressures that have begun to transform many aspects of university governance core activities, stakeholder relationships and academic work. This Habermasian informed analysis and critique of major changes in university operations, reveals an array of globalised environmental disturbances that have directly impacted on university design archetypes including governance, accountability, decision-making and communication. The consequent impacts on the financial, educational and research subsystems are found to be extensive and have penetrated the interpretive schemes that constitute the university lifeworld. Commercial values are found to be usurping the previously dominant knowledge focussed values in universities. A re-engagement in discourse and bottom-up strategic management and processually based change orientation are offered as potential foundations for developing a bridge between the new managerialism and academics’ re-empowerment.

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This page is a summary of: It’s been a pleasure doing business with you: a strategic analysis and critique of university change management, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, October 2002, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1006/cpac.2002.0561.
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