Knaves, knights or networks: which assumption of lecturer and manager motivation should underlie further education policy?

Article


Boocock, A. 2015. Knaves, knights or networks: which assumption of lecturer and manager motivation should underlie further education policy? Research in Post-Compulsory Education. 20 (2), pp. 173-192.
AuthorsBoocock, A.
Abstract

Julian Le Grand, a well-known economist, identifies two types of public sector employee: Knights (with altruistic motives) and Knaves (with self-interested motives). He argues that the quasi-market, predicated on the assumption of knavish behaviour (or agent self-interest), is the most effective way of directing school managers and teachers towards improving education outputs at lower unit cost. In this article a review of the literature on the English post-incorporation FE quasi-market is undertaken [under the Conservative government (1993-1997), New Labour (1997-2010) and the Coalition government (2010-2014)] to assess if such a premise is correct. The conclusion from the review is that an over focus on policy, premised on agent self-interest, has limited improvements in the quality of education outputs and needs-based equity for disadvantaged students because such policy marginalises other motivational inputs such as intrinsic motivation, professional values and tacit knowledge from the production process. The solution, much of the FE literature suggests, is the replacement of top-down policy with democratic local governance and participative leadership as a means of encouraging intrinsically motivated tutors and managers (or knights) to meet economic and social goals through the productive potential of learning cultures (or networks).

KeywordsQuasi-Markets; Managerialism; Governance; Professionalism; Skills; Equity
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Journal citation20 (2), pp. 173-192
ISSN1747-5112
1359-6748
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2015.1030254
Publication dates
Print23 Jun 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Nov 2016
Accepted30 Jan 2015
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Research in Post-Compulsory Education on 23/06/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13596748.2015.1030254
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