FOUCAULT, GOVERN MENTALITY AND THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT OF ACADEMICS: A CASE STUDY AT A SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY
Abstract - This article examines the power dynamics underpinning performance management at a selected South African university. It specifically employs Michel Foucault’s (1977) ideas on Govern mentality to interpret the envisioning of performance management in this context at the level of Policy. Drawing upon Michel Foucault’s (1991) ideas on govern mentality, a discourse analysis of Performance Management Policy documents is conducted with the goal of critically interrogating what is unquestionably a new academic subjectivity in the South African higher education sector- a subjectivity that is constantly controlled and regulated. We argue that performance management should take into stronger cognisance the matters of choice, voice, and multiplicity of roles within its discourses. There is much we can learn from govern mentality theory if we hope to build more just and equitable societies going forward.
Keywords - Academic Performance, Higher Education, Foucault, Govern Mentality, Subjectivity.