Universities and Innovation Economies : The Creative Wasteland of Post-Industrial Society book cover
1st Edition

Universities and Innovation Economies
The Creative Wasteland of Post-Industrial Society

ISBN 9781472425355
Published February 11, 2015 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Students drop out of universities in large numbers, many graduate to jobs that do not require a degree and a large number learn little at university, whilst graduate salaries have shrunk over time and student loan debt and default have grown. University research achievements have declined while university administration has expanded massively. The contemporary university is mired in auditing, regulation, waste and aimlessness and its contribution to serious social innovation has deteriorated markedly. The miserable state of the universities reflects a larger social reality, as bureaucratic capitalism has replaced creative capitalism. Universities and Innovation Economies examines the rise and fall of the mass university and post-industrial society, considering how we might revitalize economic and intellectual creativity. Looking to a much more inventive social and economic paradigm to drive long-term growth, the author argues for a smaller, leaner, more effective university model - one capable of delivering a greater degree of high-level discovery and creative power. A potent critique of the post-industrial mass university that urges a reimagination of universities as places of discovery and invention, this book will appeal to readers interested in higher education, creativity, social theory, the sociology of work and organisations, political economy, pedagogy and public policy.

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Universities and Innovation Economies

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Peter Murphy is Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, Australia.. He is the author of The Collective Imagination, and Civic Justice and co-author of Dialectic of Romanticism, Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy, Global Creation, and Imagination.


’Peter Murphy has written a cogent and compelling indictment of the costs to society and education of the bureaucratization of the university. The fatal unintended consequence of the mass expansion of universities since 1970 has been the swamping of the university’s core functions of teaching and research by policy, process, and performance management. The destruction of academic autonomy by a proliferating parasitic administration is at the heart of the systemic crisis of the signature institution of post-industrial knowledge society. Peter Murphy’s book is essential reading for all who care about the future of universities.’ David Roberts, Emeritus Professor of German, Monash University, Australia ’Peter Murphy’s new book is a bold, courageous and unintimidated attempt to offer a fresh perspective on the role, contribution and nature of the institution of the academy. It combines historical analysis with ideological critique, statistical data and academic performance against the background of the changing cultural and philosophical trends that have shaped individuals and practices over the last forty years. Murphy argues for a new kind of university: resourceful, entrepreneurial and creative, an institution that will challenge conformism and conformity with new ideas, solid knowledge of the past and openness to innovation and critique. This is a very opportune book: it exposes the current stagnation but at the same time envisions new horizons. It is also a necessary book - for all academics, students and governments. It shapes a new cultural and epistemic paradigm for the function of the most important Western institution of learning and acting.’ Vrasidas Karalis, Sir Nicholas Laurantus Professor of Modern Greek, University of Sydney, Australia ’If there is a myth which universities have woven around themselves, it is that they are centres of innovation and world-changing research. Peter Murphy’s excellent new book both punctures those illusion