Neoliberalism in education: how Performance Management System (PMS) undermined employee motivation and academic freedom at the University of Botswana

MOTSOMI NDALA MAROBELA AND KERSTIN ANDRAE-MAROBELA UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA, BOTSWANA
 
Purpose -- This paper examines the implementation of Performance Management System (PMS) at the University of Botswana and its impact on worker’s motivation. PMS was inspired by the New Public Management (NPM) doctrine emphasising efficiency.
Design/methoDesidology/approach -- An exploratory methodology was used, combined with critical realism explaining the dynamics of forced change in relation to academic staff performance. Interviews were conducted to solicit views of staff in four different departments.
Findings -- Our findings show that PMS has failed to enhance performance and motivate staff. Instead of supporting the university’s vision of promoting excellence and academic freedom, it created an environment of punishment, fear and demotivation.
Originality/value -- Change involving performance management is complex and contested. Established PMS models in the private sector might fail in an academic setting, as different factors shape staff performance, and academic freedom is imperative.
Keywords Education, Academic freedom, Staff performance, NPM, Forced change
Outlook Marobela_Andrae-Marobela.pdf
Outlook Marobela_Andrae-Marobela.pdf
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