Audit-market Intermediaries: Doing Institutional Work in British Research Intensive Universities

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Abstract

Our paper examines the rise of a new category of professional support staff whom we refer to as ‘audit-market intermediaries’ in the context of a rapidly changing regulatory and funding environment in British higher education. We explore the roles they play in articulating environmental changes in research intensive universities related to the auditing of teaching via demands for quality assurance and the marketisation of higher education via the rise of the student as a fee paying consumer. The qualitative data reveals the internal and external sources of legitimacy and power of the audit-market intermediaries as well their contestation. We show how these actors serve as mediators of audit and market forces undertaking institutional work by translating, amplifying or buffering
related pressures within the university; and point at the relevance of the specific organisational context for understanding differing patterns of their institutional work.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date12 Feb 2018
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2018

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audit
market
university
auditing
role play
quality assurance
fee
education
legitimacy
funding
staff
Teaching
student

Cite this

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title = "Audit-market Intermediaries: Doing Institutional Work in British Research Intensive Universities",
abstract = "Our paper examines the rise of a new category of professional support staff whom we refer to as ‘audit-market intermediaries’ in the context of a rapidly changing regulatory and funding environment in British higher education. We explore the roles they play in articulating environmental changes in research intensive universities related to the auditing of teaching via demands for quality assurance and the marketisation of higher education via the rise of the student as a fee paying consumer. The qualitative data reveals the internal and external sources of legitimacy and power of the audit-market intermediaries as well their contestation. We show how these actors serve as mediators of audit and market forces undertaking institutional work by translating, amplifying or bufferingrelated pressures within the university; and point at the relevance of the specific organisational context for understanding differing patterns of their institutional work.",
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