How to Become Less Excellent

Nick Butler, Sverre Spoelstra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter examines forms of game-playing in the business school by focusing on the way that the regime of excellence – understood primarily in terms of journal rankings and research assessments – comes to modify academics' relationship to scholarship. It offers some suggestions on how academic game-plays in the business school. The chapter reviews the literature on the rise of excellence, focusing on the impact of journal rankings and research assessments on academic working lives. In recent years, 'excellence' has emerged as a key discourse within the contemporary university. Originating in the private sector and the rise of New Public Management in the 1980s and 1990s, 'excellence' involves orientating academic knowledge production around metrics such as journal rankings, impact factors and league tables. To this extent, it is aligned with neo-liberal 'audit culture' that seeks to measure and assess the products of academic labour as discrete units of value rather than as primarily scholarly contributions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Corporatization of the Business School : Minerva Meets the Market
EditorsTony Huzzard, Mats Benner, Dan Kärreman
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781138191143, 9781138191204
ISBN (Electronic)9781315640594, 9781317277484
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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