Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Survival and identity : understanding university groupings in times of change
Author: Brandenburg, Uwe
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Over the last decades, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been undergoing a phase of transition existing in high velocity environments. HE reforms that include diverse phenomena - from world rankings to financial independence from the state, market dependence, increasing accountability, among others - throw HEIs into a "state of uncertainry", especially regarding strategies for survival and ensuring identity in an increasingly globalised and competitive higher education market. HEIs are looking for tactical solutions to manage these pressures and groupings are considered one of them. HEI groupings also need to survive in a market of other competing groupings, raising the question which groupings might it be best to belong to and what might be the implications of choices made. The dissertation provides a new and in-depth description and analysis of HEI groupings concerning identity as well as the importance of coherence on certain dimensions and properties. It also provides some practical advice on HEI grouping management regarding Survival criteria and maintaining identity in particular. The thesis explores critical factors for the survival of HEI groupings, such as a sufficient level of internal coherence in three dimensions (temporality, spatiality, sociality), the production of social externalities and private benefits, the establishment of a brand, and the maintenance of an identity. The research is founded on the theory of voluntary clubs (Potoski/Prakash) and organisational identity (Gioia). It also analyses the use of visualisation software to grasp the core problems or challenges of a grouping. To this end, a qualitative approach combining documents, interviews, statistical data and surveys has been used. The research findings suggest that there is no "best buy"; rather that each HEI has to analyse its reasons to enter a grouping critically, that groupings need to serve different needs, and not every grouping can cater for every need. However, there are factors critical for survival, most prominently the aspect of identity. Additionally, the thesis provides evidence for the usefulness of visualisation software to depict complex settings as well as the relevance of the theory of voluntary clubs and Gioia's organisational identity metaphor for describing, explaining and understanding HEI groupings, on the one hand, and critical aspects for possible failure, on the other.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available