This volume provides an alternative means of discussing the development and significance of managers and management in universities and colleges. It is particularly concerned with the way "managing" involves the development of different ways of talking, acting and relating to people at work. Yet this is often difficult, and variably successful, as it confronts often strong professional and occupational work identities and cultures. the book provides a detailed look at the "manager" in contemporary further and higher education in Britain as post-compulsory education has been required to operate on a more commercial basis, and universities and colleges are increasingly regarded as small to medium, sized enterprises. It draws upon interviews with more than 70 senior post-holders. It explores , for example, the work of the traditional university vice-chancellor who came to see himself as the new chief executive,schooled himself in the works of international management gurus Henry Mintzberg and Tom Peters, and engaged his 3000 staff in the virtues of "thriving on chaos". The result, as one seasoned higher education observer has noted, was "18 months of misery" for university personnel.
It tells the story of the professor of material science who came to see himself as small businessman responsible for maintaining a =2 million a year department turnover. But at the same time he considered this new identity to be constantly hamstrung by the bureaucratic centralism of his university. It tells the stories of senior women administrators who, empowered by their appointment as managers, challenged the deeply embedded paternalism of their senior academic colleagues. and it tells the stories of numerous heads of department and sections repositioned as managers in the "new marketized further education" who have struggled to re-imagine students as funding units, and colleagues as "their staff". This volume should be of interest for those in post-compulsory education,public sector management, and the sociology of work and education, and also for university and college managers themselves.