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ERIC Number: EJ791620
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 105
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 309
ISSN: ISSN-1551-6970
The Uses of Institutional Culture: Strengthening Identification and Building Brand Equity in Higher Education. ASHE Higher Education Report, Volume 31, Number 2
Toma, J. Douglas, Ed.; Dubrow, Greg, Ed.; Hartley, Matthew, Ed.
ASHE Higher Education Report, v31 n2 p1-105 2005
Institutional culture matters in higher education, and universities and colleges commonly express the need to strengthen their culture. A strong culture is perceived, correctly so, to engender a needed sense of connectedness between and among the varied constituents associated with a campus. Linking organizational culture and social cohesion is not a novel concept. (The authors use the terms "organizational culture" and "institutional culture" interchangeably throughout their discussion.) Their primary contribution here is to argue that a strong institutional culture has concrete uses in universities and colleges: culture is not simply something that is but is something that can do. In connecting people and institutions, institutional culture can pay real dividends, particularly in external relations and in building the campus community that is so critical in student affairs, but also in managing administrative and academic units. Institutional culture is not just something to have, which is where the discussion of the concept usually focuses, but is something to use. The authors thus explore the particular set of benefits accrued by institutions that do what is necessary to enjoy a strong set of institutional norms, values, and beliefs, which is how they define culture. They move beyond the common conception of institutional culture's simply binding together those who work and learn at institutions of higher education, extending the discussion to explore the "so what?" question. They explore how institutional culture enables a university or college community, broadly defined, to identify with the institution. They also examine how it helps clarify the image of that institution in ways that bring what those in marketing would call "brand equity." Through driving institutional identification and brand equity, institutional culture has real uses in strategy and management in higher education. Further, academic or administrative units are much better positioned to be effective when those within them have a concrete appreciation of the institution's norms, values, and beliefs (institutional culture), relate their own fortunes with those of the institution (institutional identification), and can represent the institution's image in ways that yield benefits for it (brand equity). The authors explore these three concepts--and particularly the broad intersections among them--toward an appreciation of how institutions can use what they yield in strategy and management.
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A