n Journal of Contemporary Management - Critical Management Research (CMR) : reassessment of the marketing in education discourse in South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, policy makers, supported by a plethora of publications, favoured a marketing approach to the management of educational institutions. While the origins of the approach could be traced to US practice and British legislation, its application found support throughout the Anglophone world. Unlike the application of marketing principles in business, which is uniform, a variety of approaches were applied in education. Similarly, unlike in business where marketing principles are still generally applied, the application of marketing principles in education has all but disappeared. This article uses concepts drawn from the work of Michael Foucault, and undertakes a critical discourse analysis of international literature on marketing in education, with a reflection of the application of marketing principles to the South African education environment. Summary statement of contribution: The study on which this article is based used discourse analysis to analyse the application of marketing principles to the field of education, with a particular focus on education in South Africa. The article provides a summary of various approaches applied and accounts for lack of acceptance of marketing principles by the education community in South Africa.

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