Motivating Individuals

Incentives, Staff Reactions, and Institutional Effects

Institutional Management in Higher Education

The article studies relationships between changes in institutional funding patterns and staff incentives. Although specific internal university incentives were not considered in any detail in Academic Capitalism, it is believed that the alterations in HEI funding patterns instituted by governments described therein almost certainly created organisational dynamics that resulted in more specific incentives being created or expanded within HEIs, and that these incentives had a direct impact on academic staff. This led the author and PhD students to try to establish whether there were in fact causal relationships among the changes in institutional funding patterns and the activities within HEIs. They conducted econometric analyses to study how involvement in grant and contract work impacted the time allocations and productivity of individual academic staff members. The author concludes that declining revenue shares from government block grants is having major impacts on HEIs, but that the magnitude and nature of these impacts, is enormously varied, not only across HEIs but within as well. Within institutions, effects of shifting revenue structures depend upon many factors, including the extent to which and the manner by which the institution transmits environmental pressures to internal units and individual staff members...

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