Australia Business Schools: more than 'commercial enterprise'?

Suzanne Ryan, James Guthrie, Ruth Neumann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper raises important issues for the identity of Australian business schools arising from the debate on the relevance of management education, a debate largely held outside of Australia. The identity theory of Laclau and Mouffe (1985), adapted to organisations by Bridgman (2005), is used as a basis to examine both general issues in the 'relevance' of management education debate and their pertinence to Australian business schools based on three competing identities: the 'academic department', the 'professional school' and the 'commercial enterprise'. The paper concludes that, although pressures from external government policies and internal institutional priorities have resulted in business schools becoming 'cash cows', appearing to privilege the 'commercial enterprise' discourse, the values and identities of individual academics and their academic units remain aligned with the 'professional school' and 'academic department'. While the dominance of one discourse or identity is yet to be decided, the debate is highly pertinent to universities in developing their own identities in an environment of competing pressures and discourses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBAM 2008 Annual Conference
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherBritish Acadmeny of Management
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)095496084X
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventBritish Academy of Management Conference - Harrogate, UK
Duration: 9 Sept 200811 Sept 2008


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Conference
CityHarrogate, UK


Dive into the research topics of 'Australia Business Schools: more than 'commercial enterprise'?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this