ERIC Number: ED332632
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Economic Values Implicit in the Social Construction of American Universities.
Olson, Jeffery E.
Five economic hypotheses of what American universities value (profit, production, prestige, faculty consumption, or academic resources and activities) were tested to illustrate the implicit value framework, a conceptual framework for inferring the objective economic values of an organization from the manner in which society has defined its relationships of exchange and production. The population for the study was comprised of 166 comprehensive and research-doctoral universities and the time period was the 1982-83 academic year. Since a period longer than one year is needed to produce graduates, cross-sectional data were used. The universities were divided into four types: selective-private, selective-public, less selective-private, and less selective public. Data on several other variables were collected: inputs and outputs (students, degrees granted, articles published), faculty, departmental and administrative services, library services, and physical plant. Findings indicated, among other things, that students have a negative exchange value, that financial aid programs do not affect the exchange value of the student to the university, and that the universities that publish the most have relatively high marginal exchange values for research. These results are consistent with the hypotheses that universities maximize faculty consumption. They are inconsistent with maximizing prestige, profit, production or with valuing intrinsically academic activities. (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, Illinois, April, 1991).