Since the late 1980s, Australian highereducation has undergone significant reforms andpolicy changes based on economic rationalismand modernisation of management. This paperexamines the outcomes of the reform processesbased on the career attributes, status andperceptions of work environment of academicaccountants in Australian universities.Similarities and differences between academicaccountants are explored fromcross-institutional and gender perspectives.The data provide insight into a number ofsystemic inequalities between the older andmore established universities and the neweruniversities. In specific, across-institutional analysis based on fouruniversity types: Sandstones/Redbricks,Gumtrees, Unitechs and New (Marginson 1999)indicates that academic accountants in Newuniversities employ a much lower proportion ofstaff with PhD qualification, a weakerpublication profile, and perceive greaterbarriers for conducting research in terms of ashortage of research mentors, colleagues withresearch experience, and post-graduatestudents. Further, the commitment to flexiblelearning and delivery strategies iscomparatively stronger in Unitechs, and posesadditional demands on accounting academics'overall workload. Perceptions of gender-baseddiscrimination by female academic accountantsare generally stronger than their malecounterparts, particularly, in Newuniversities. These results raise severalissues for academic accountants at both theinstitutional and individual level in terms ofequal employment opportunities, management ofresearch programmes, development of teachingstrategies and individual time management.
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