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Accounting for change: the micropolitics of university restructuring, part two: changing structures, contesting identities

Gibbon, P; Habib, Adam; Jansen, Jonathan; Parekh, Angina

Abstract:
This second article in a three-part series published Education describes the various ways in which "academic identity" informed the politics and shaped the outcomes of "restructuring" at the University of Durban Westville (UDW) in the late I990s. The authors argue that while ''restructuring" appears to be a process concerned with organisational and programmatic changes within the university, the effects of such reorganisation is to challenge established identities At UDW the restructuring process generate an intense micropolitics across the campus because it had the effect of recasting ethnic identities (the case of the Indian languages) disciplinary identities (the case of political science philosophy, and public administration) and professional identities (the case of the engineering faculty). The authors conclude that without grasping the underlying shifts in identity that inevitably accompany restructuring, university leaders and administrators run the risk of alienating the very constituencies from which they seek "buy-in" for radical change proposals. And without taking account of the politics of identity, attempts to theorise institutional change might falter by mistaking formal or superficial reorganisation for substantive or deep change.

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Document Title: Accounting for change: the micropolitics of university restructuring, part two: changing structures, contesting identities
Journal: South African Journal of Higher Education
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
No. of Pages: 15-46


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Institutional Management
Country:South Africa
Keywords:South African Universities, Micropolitics, Restructuring, Identity, Institutional Restructuring, Case Study, Mergers, Models


File Size:67 KB
Rights:Permission has been granted by the publisher.
Date Added:19 March 2007


Gibbon, P; Habib, Adam; Jansen, Jonathan; Parekh, Angina (2001). Accounting for change: the micropolitics of university restructuring, part two: changing structures, contesting identities. South African Journal of Higher Education, 15(1): 40-46