We Are Not “Newly Appointed Staff” The Dark Side of Ghana’s ‘New’ Public University Management Discourse

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Dennis Puorideme


In contemporary societies, corporate organisations’ discourses are progressively colonising the everyday practices of individuals or collectives in organisational settings. In Ghana, the government mobilizes state institutions’ technologies for colonising the everyday practices of staff and management of public university organisations. One of such state institutional technologies and practices is the state’s migration of university staff onto the government mechanized payroll. The question is, how do state institutions colonize and control the everyday management practices of public university organisations including employee socialization practices, and what are the ramifications? Data for this study include text in the form of letters and press releases realised from mediated interactions between government institutions and university management and workers’ unions, and talk realised from interview. The data is analysed in relation to the new public universities’ management discourse inspired by dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse studies. This study demonstrates that the discursive practices of the government institutions and the migration of the staff of SDD-UBIDS onto the government mechanized payroll, IPPD2 technology is a political strategy to control public universities. The ramifications are that such institutionalized practices curtail academic freedom and competitiveness of public universities locally and globally as employees’ competing discursive practices, contestations and enactments are ignored. The highlight of this article is that, generally, in preparing the new public university bill and implementing new public universities’ regulations in Ghana, the government and the management of public universities strategically align and go along. However, an inclusive and pluralistic discourse to shape public universities’ regulation and management in Ghana to ensure academic freedom, and a competitive national and global higher education is badly needed.

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How to Cite
Puorideme, D. (2022). We Are Not “Newly Appointed Staff”: The Dark Side of Ghana’s ‘New’ Public University Management Discourse. Communication & Language at Work, 8(2), 45–62. https://doi.org/10.7146/claw.v8i2.135114