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ERIC Number: EJ870821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0379-7724
Diversification or Homogenization in Higher Education: A Global Allomorphism Perspective
Zha, Qiang
Higher Education in Europe, v34 n3-4 p459-479 Oct 2009
Competition for scarce resources causes institutions to become more similar because the uniform environmental conditions of competition bring forth similar responses. Consequently, there is a convergence of institutional function structures elsewhere. National higher education systems worldwide have been moving from a specialized regime towards an integrative regime. During the integration process, a hierarchical order begins to emerge, as organizational integration implies standardization, which measures institutions by one single set of criteria and tends to define them by rank or by the score they obtain compared to other institutions. The integrative regime then moves towards a hierarchical regime. In an integrated hierarchical system, research qualifications are usually the essential condition for access to resources and prestige. This has essentially become a worldwide phenomenon. This study attempts to draw on organizational behaviour theories (in particular the resource dependency, the institutional isomorphism and the neo-institutionalism models), and employs an organizational allomorphism perspective to develop a paradigm that helps explain this process. This approach draws also on the "glonacal agency heuristic, and emphasizes the centrality of agency and hence the different responses and outcomes it produces in organizational behaviour, structure and pathways to change. It proposes, as a result, that higher education institutions are neither becoming strictly homogeneous and isomorphic at a national or global level, nor highly differentiated and polymorphic at the local-organizational level. They could rather be conceived as variants (not different forms) of the very limited number of institutional archetypes at global level. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China