Conference on Long-term provision of knowledge

At the annual conference in the national research program Long-term Provision of Knowledge, held in Saltsjöbaden 15-16 November, preliminary results from our on-going empirical studies in Swedish business schools were presented. Johann Packendorff, Marianne Ekman Rising and Monica Lindgren are in-depth-interviewing lecturers on initiatives aimed at increasing performance and productivity by connecting funding allocation directly to measures on the individual or institutional level, and are specifically interested in (1) how such initiatives are understood and received by academic professionals in their daily work, and (2) in what ways these initiatives affect work practices and academics’ self-understanding.

In our presentation, we centered around empirical themes rather than theoretical developments. Where the practicing of performance-based systems (PBS) is concerned, we reflected on the following themes:
•Hour counting practices – i.e. that teaching time is broken down in detail to hours to be ”produced” by lecturers.
•Research time distribution – i.e. how internal research funding are allocated across faculty and the consequences of the process as such and the allocation criteria
•Accreditation as a self-inflicted additional system: Importing US criteria and organizational models
•Publishing/bibliometrics: Awareness ,strategic behaviour but not embraced
•Salaries as hygiene factor, not seen as reward or incentive, even negative when seen as unfair
•Standardisation important despite variety of work contents and work organisation
•Outcome-based systems rather than process-based systems
•Individualised systems – individuals are responsibilised, measured and evaluated, less so the organisation

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