For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"MacIntyre, managerialism and universities"

by Stolz, Steven A (2017)


AbstractMacIntyre?s earlier work and concern with social science enquiry not only exposes its limits, but also provides an insight into how its knowledge claims have been put to ideological use. He maintains that the institutional embodiment of these ideological ideas is the bureaucratic manager who has had a negative role to play in social structures because managerialism revolves around a notable absence, or at least marginalisation of conflict since the nature of rational debate and conflict is unpredictable and unmanageable, and hence would seriously undermine the perception trying to be projected of a competent technocrat in control of their organisation. MacIntyre, in lamenting the place of contemporary universities in society, highlights how most universities have become business corporations and irremediably fragmented and now serve purposes so alien and foreign from their initial conception as sites of constrained mutual rational debate and conflict. As a result, MacIntyre?s account of how managerial authority is justified in bureaucratic institutions and its social role and character is scathing and particularly apt for explaining the malaise of contemporary universities. In order to overcome this malaise, I want to struggle against the corporatisation of universities by revitalising and extending upon MacIntyre?s argument that a university is set up for constrained disagreement and imposed participation in conflict, and also highlight the importance of reason or wisdom and its development because it enables us to see the interconnectedness and interrelationship between different forms of knowledge that can lead us to truth and of the good.


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