Middle managers’ experience of policy implementation and mediation in the context of the Scottish quality enhancement framework

Saunders, Murray and Sin, Cristina (2014) Middle managers’ experience of policy implementation and mediation in the context of the Scottish quality enhancement framework. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 40 (1). pp. 135-150. ISSN 0260-2938

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Abstract

This paper analyses how middle managers perform and experience their role in enacting policy in Scottish higher education institutions. The policy focus is the quality enhancement framework (QEF) for learning and teaching in higher education, which was launched in 2003. The data-set was collected between 2008 and 2010, during the evaluation of the QEF by means of focus groups with middle managers at nine Scottish institutions. The metaphor of a policy implementation staircase helps to situate middle managers’ position in enactment, and analyse their experience of the role. Despite the values of collegiality and ownership upheld by the QEF, middle managers’ accounts of their practices reveal that their position at the interface between university management and core academic activities continues to be a delicate one, marked by contradictory allegiances to institutional strategies and the concerns of academic colleagues. While emphasising middle managers’ pivotal role in the implementation of the QEF policy, the data paradoxically suggest that the systemic positioning of middle managers is more influential in shaping their role of mediation than the values of collegiality and ownership promoted by this enhancement approach to quality specific to Scotland.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3304
Subjects:
ID Code:
73755
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Jun 2015 05:44
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
27 Oct 2020 04:51