Thursday 10 Sep 2020
⏰ MELBOURNE TIME
5.00 – 7.00 pm
⏰ LOCAL TIME
Dr Kate Dempsey
Education Consultant, Kate Dempsey & Associates, Australia
Kate Dempsey is an organisational consultant who has successfully operated her own business, Kate Dempsey & Associates, for more than two decades. She assists businesses with change management and organisational review. In addition to her consulting work, Kate is an academic who has taught Leadership and Managing Change to Masters level students at Monash, Deakin and Latrobe Universities and also to Bachelor of Business students at Swinburne University since 2006. She has a PhD in the psychology of leadership.
Does the university offer a safe haven for its students and its staff?
As an adjunct university lecturer in precarious employment in the business faculty, critique is a deeply personal matter to me. It is expected of me to help students to think critically, but there are risks associated with teaching critically in a university. Firstly, while the university may have espoused values regarding the importance of critical thinking, it does not in practice offer support to staff to teach in this way and it ‘outsources’ the teaching of critique to its most precarious workers (namely its casual teaching staff). Secondly, it is not necessarily what students signed up for, so they can be resistant or hostile to the idea. Thirdly there is no safe haven; no safe space to explore the effect of teaching and studying management and leadership theories critically on a person’s sense of identity. This is not provided by the university and it is not provided by students’ workplaces.
In this paper, I want simply to make the connection between the personal, the institutional and the political. I am not sure critique can be successfully learned without the protection of non-judgemental and supportive relationships, peer support and trust, where old ideas and old identities are jettisoned and new ones are tried on for size. At the same time, I don’t think capitalism as we know it today offers a great deal of room for genuine critique of its own hegemonic hold on us. So I want in this paper to connect the personal with the political: the isolation of both the casually employed university teacher and the worker as a student, as they try to look at management and leadership critically and to link this experience with the inability of capitalist workplaces (including universities) to allow this critique to occur.
Small group discussion; impressions of the paper and developing questions for the presenter
Discussion forum with the presenter; moderated for the speaker to elaborate their ideas
Small group activity or discussion ‘What does this paper tell us about working into the future?’
Discussion forum with the presenter; themes from the discussions