Working in the Shadow of Hierarchy: Organisational Autonomy and Venues of External Influence in European Universities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over recent decades, ‘autonomy’ has become a buzz word in higher education reform and universities were thought to be empowered to determine their own destiny. This chapter examines the organisational autonomy of universities in Europe. The multidimensional analyses of autonomy show that universities in practice experience considerable decision-making space, which in many cases is even more than expected, given their formal, legal autonomy situation. At the same time, the autonomy of universities is strongly circumscribed by their lasting financial dependence on the public purse, by contractual performance agreements, multiple accountability requirements, and by working in the shadow of governmental rules and expectations. Granting universities more autonomy does not reflect a weakening influence of government but new ways of controlling and influencing organisational behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Universities
Subtitle of host publicationPolicy and Organizational Change from a Western European Comparative Perspective
EditorsIvar Bleiklie, Jürgen Enders, Benedetto Lepori
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Pages57-83
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-53865-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-53864-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Global Higher Education
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan

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