Academic perspectives on metrics: Procedural justice as a key factor in evaluations of fairness

O'Connell, Catherine and O'Siochru, Cathal and Rao, Namrata (2019) Academic perspectives on metrics: Procedural justice as a key factor in evaluations of fairness. Studies in Higher Education. ISSN 0307-5079

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03075...

Abstract

The research literature emphasises the emergence – in the English context particularly – of performative accountabilities associated with metrics-based evaluation. Recent studies observe uneven effects of such evaluations at organisational level. This UK-based study examines academics’ perceptions of the fairness of organisational accountabilities, drawing on organisational studies literature to identify dimensions of organisational justice. A cluster analysis identified four groups varying in their perceptions of procedural justice (fairness of organisational processes associated with metrics) and distributive justice (performance consequences of metrics). Exploring the responses further, interview respondents emphasised greater concerns with procedural justice and greater variability in accountability practices relating to research metrics than with teaching. In groups where procedural justice was evaluated more positively, academics saw metrics being applied in ways aligned with valued research and teaching enhancement practices. The study draws attention to institutional practices that contribute to academic perceptions of fairness and increased alignment between organisational and individual goals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article which is published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 20th July 2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03075079.2019.1643306.
Keywords: academic management / democratic practices / policy analysis / research & teaching / metrics
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Catherine O'Connell
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2019 08:07
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 08:07
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2916

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