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Governing universities is a multi-level as well as a highly paradoxical endeavor. The featured studies in this book examine critically the multifaceted repercussions of changing governance logics and show how contradictory demands for scholarly peer control, market responsiveness, public policy control, and democratization create governance paradoxes. While a large body of academic literature has been focusing on the external governance of universities, this book shifts the focus on organizations’ internal characteristics, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the changing governance in universities.
The book follows exigent calls for getting back to the heart of organization theory when studying organizational change and turns attention to strategies, structures, and control mechanisms as distinctive but interrelated elements of organizational designs. We take a multi-level approach to explore how universities develop strategies in order to cope with changes in their institutional environment (macro level), how universities implement these strategies in their structures and processes (meso level), and how universities design mechanisms to control the behavior of their members (micro level).
As universities are highly complex knowledge-based organizations, their modus operandi, i.e. governing strategies, structures, and controls, needs to be responsive to the multiplicity of demands coming from both inside and outside the organization.