Investing in lifelong learning? Employment management in higher education

Steven Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nature of employment management practices and the role of the Investors in People standard in United Kingdom higher education are examined. A dichotomy of process improvement outcomes of Investors in People (IiP) is identified: those which allow for continuous improvement and employee development; and those which operate to strengthen managerial command and control often in a more short-term manner, and at the expense of long-term staff development. The implications are contextualised in the lifelong learning debate. If the meaning of lifelong learning is taken to embrace liberal and emancipatory notions of education, the use of processes that reinforce ‘hard’ managerialism are unlikely to allow this to happen and, indeed, may operate against it. Alternatively, if lifelong learning means an emphasis on vocational functionalism, then the use of ‘hard’ managerialism may, indeed, provide the changes necessary to enable enhanced student access and increased student numbers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-481
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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