Using Causal Layered Analysis to Explore the Relationship Between Academics and Administrators in Universities

by Maree Conway

ABSTRACT

Universities are complex organisations requiring a range of skills, knowledge and expertise to operate effectively. Since the last quarter of the 20th century, when a separate administrative work jurisdiction began to emerge, academics and administrators have had to co-exist in universities. With growing pressures from government for accountability and transparency during that time, that coexistence has been increasingly characterised by a tension most often described as a ‘divide’. This paper reports on the findings of a research project undertaken in 2008 using Causal Layered Analysis to explore the nature of this tension, and perceptions that a ‘divide’ exists between academic and administrative staff in universities.

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