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ERIC Number: ED564524
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 234
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-0926-8
How the American, Degree-Granting For-Profit Higher Education Sector Manages the Regulatory Environment: An Intrinsic Case Study
Barron, Caulyne Nichole
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
This intrinsic case study examined the context of the American, degree-granting for-profit higher education sector between 2009 and 2012, applying institutional theory and resource dependency theory to develop an understanding of how the degree-granting for-profit sector of American higher education manages regulatory pressures. The study examines how the regulatory environment exerts pressure on higher education institutions. Filling a gap in the literature, the study explores the for-profit sector as a whole by first defining and describing the societal sector. The research is grounded in the proposition that firms not only adapt to regulatory pressures, but take action to create a more favorable environment. The case sought to understand the regulatory environment through document analysis (violations, government investigations, media accounts, association membership, legal actions and other methods of controlling or influencing the environment), then applied Kotter's (1979) hypothesis of the actions firms take to manage their environments by deploying a questionnaire to institutional leaders. After an initial analysis, interviews with sector members clarified the emergent themes. The findings suggest a more complex regulatory environment that may both directly and indirectly regulate for-profit institutions, and revealed a range of tactics used by institutions to manage their environment, including program diversification, lobbying, and public relations. The rational myths of the sector are explored, including the construct of the "bad apple." The mechanisms of isomorphism are present in the system, and compliance with the regulations demonstrated coercive and normative isomorphism in action. There is insufficient evidence to determine the level of diffusion of specific tactics to manage regulatory pressure, though 86% of questionnaire respondents took some form of action to manage their regulatory environment, rather than simply adapting to pressure through organizational change. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A