Welcome to “the rough and tumble”: Managing accounting research in a corporatised university world

Lee Parker, James Guthrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The paper explores the rapidly changing environment affecting universities and their research communities. It sets out to explore the effect of university corporatisation on research and teaching, and aims to identify likely coping strategies for researchers. The role of AAAJ in supporting research in this turbulent environment is then considered. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a literaturebased analysis, critique and argument. The paper's scope includes the teaching and research by academic scholars in a corporate university environment. Findings – Universities and their research are increasingly becoming revenueseeking, market driven corporatised university tools. Researchers are increasingly subject to pressures to accept higher workloads, pursue aggressive revenue targets, and to conduct and publish research that fits management imposed key performance indicators. This leads to a packaging and commodification of research with a short term, statusseeking and fundraising emphasis. Research limitations/implications – Scholars need innovative but disciplined approaches to coping with such pressures in order to maintain pursuit of pathbreaking and significant additions to knowledge. Practical implications – Personal values and commitment by individual scholars, as well as scholarly networks and support mechanisms will be the longterm key to future research of value to the community. Originality/value – The paper alerts researchers to the impact on their work on current institutional, economic and political forces surrounding universities, and highlights the consequent corporatisation and commercialisation of universities. It offers a realistic assessment of the current research environment and reinforces the need for individual researcher reassessments and strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Universities


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