University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

The Competition Fetish in Universities and Business Schools

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The Competition Fetish in Universities and Business Schools

The School of Management is co-hosting a research symposium on ‘The Competition Fetish in Universities and Business Schools’  with the European Foundation for Management Development and Organization, the Critical Journal of Organization, Theory and Society on Monday 23 September - Tuesday 24 September 2013.
The symposium focuses on the extent to which universities and business schools are trapped in a ‘competition fetish’. The competition in higher education is related to global economic competition and has rules established by those institutions already judged to be ‘the best’ on an international scale. Global competition includes government sponsored ‘excellence policies’, as well as rankings and market competition.

The seminar brings together conceptual and empirical analyses by distinguished  international researchers to address why the idea of competition has become so powerful, how it is put into practice in various countries and what the consequences are for the organisational form of the university, for research,  the education of students and for  higher education’s contribution to the public good.

Speakers include Mats Alvesson, Martin Parker, Kenneth Starkey, Jonathon Gosling, Simon Marginson, Dan Karreman and Susan Wright. The symposium co-organiser, Dr Rajani Naidoo, of the Centre for Research in Advertising and Consumption, reflects that competition has become a belief which is unthinkingly applied to resolve all the problems faced by mass higher education and to ensure legitimacy in the ‘risk’ society. The symposium analyses benefits and dysfunctional effects as well as exploring policy and research directions to enhance the roles of universities and business schools in society.

For further information, including speaker details and abstracts, please see the symposium programme (pdf).

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General Notes For Editors:

The School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools. Currently ranked 1st for Student Experience (Times Higher Education 2015) and 1st for Business Studies (The Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2016), we are a leading centre for management research - placed 8th in the UK in the latest REF2014.

We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development's quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976.

The centrality of research to teaching is an essential feature of all our programmes. The School offers a full range of programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate up to PhD level and post-experience programmes including the world-ranked Bath MBA. The School also provides tailored executive development programmes for middle and senior management.

The School of Management has a faculty of over 100 teaching and research staff, including visiting academics, with a professional support team of around 90 managerial and administrative staff. Research income averages £2 million per annum. There are approximately 2,400 students in total comprising some 150 MBA students, over 500 Master’s students, 250 full- and part-time research students, and over 1500 undergraduates following BSc degrees.