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Opportunism of University Lecturers As a Way to Adaptate the External Control Activities Strengthening

Opportunism of University Lecturers As a Way to Adaptate the External Control Activities Strengthening

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 8 (no. 3),

At the present the Russian government is undertaking a higher education system reform actively introducing management tools of new public management. Implementation of these instruments is accompanied by the transformation of universities in the customer-oriented organizations and lecturers into the employees. There is a substitution of incentives based on the existing informal norms of academic standards and reputation mechanisms of control to the incentives based on the quasi-market conditions artificially generated by the state and corresponding to the mechanisms of external assessment and monitoring. Practices changing used by lecturers to follow their interests is the inevitable result and more widespread form is opportunism. The purpose of the paper is to characterize the forms of manifestation of opportunistic behavior of university lecturers emerging as a result of changes in the nature of lecturers’ contract in the conditions of university governance managerisation. The main forms of lecturers’ opportunism and assesses of its degree based on data analysis of the two waves of the expert survey on the problems of assessing the impact of implementation mechanisms of external evaluation of their activities and the questionnaire survey of lecturers more than 40 Russian universities of different status are described as well as lecturers’ strategy of behavior, which are presented as a combination of different severity practices used by opportunistic behavior is highlighted. It shows the relation between the non-observance of academic freedom and the choice of lecturers’ strategies conduct. It is proved that the lecturers of Russian universities depending on the accumulated stocks of human and social capital as well as the resource capacity of separate universities are choosing different strategies to follow their own interests, which differ in the level of shirking in different areas of activity. All this is accompanied by deterioration in the academic environment, the restriction of academic freedom and the reduction of academic standards.

Keywords: education reforms; university; academic freedom; academic standards; external control; opportunistic behavior; shirking; integral estimation.

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