This article examines, through the lens of social influence theory, the impact of consumerism on faculty behavior. Rathus (2005) defines social influence as “the ways in which people alter the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others” (p. 607). Demands such as student-teacher evaluations and high graduation rates can lead professors to lower their standards in order to conform to the expectations of students as consumers of higher education. Further, the institutions which employ faculty members also contribute to such conformity through the perpetuation of this business-oriented mindset. The authors explore consumerism in higher education through the following three elements of social influence: tenure review, accreditation, and marketing strategies. The primary objective is to shed light on the challenges faculty face from the discipline, or paradigm, of social psychology by examining the impact of each element.
Armstrong, Amanda; Smith, Madeline; Thomas, Jaymi; and Johnson, Amanda
"Consumerism and Higher Education: Pressures and Faculty Conformity,"
The William & Mary Educational Review: Vol. 3
, Article 10.
Available at: http://publish.wm.edu/wmer/vol3/iss2/10