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Accepted Paper:

Information vs. accounting: time-allocation tools at Finnish universities  
Matti Erasaari (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the time-allocation tools employed by Finnish universities and the commensurating logic underlying them. What is accomplished by quantifying academic labour time, and why?

Paper long abstract:

Finnish universities and government research institutes have used the so-called full costing model since 2009. As part of this model, they employ time-allocation tools such as “SAP HR” and “Sole TM”, which record academic working times at very precise levels - down to one hundredth part of an hour. These tools have been found not only clumsy but also unethical by their users: discussion ensuing from a 2010 petition against the use of Sole TM at Finnish universities noted both that they cause a further strain on academics’ time, and that it is unethical for academics to be involved in the production of false data. This paper explores precisely the “fictitiousness” required when academic time is converted into “effective” or “completed” working hours. After a decade of time allocating, Finnish academics appear to have grown used to the absurdities of allocating time that grossly underrepresents the actual hours spent on academic work. But the reason behind the practice as well as its potential repercussions still remain largely undiscussed.

Panel Evid06a
Navigating worlds of data I
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -