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Title: Playing the rankings game : a game theoretic decision model using Data Envelopment Analysis evaluated for university league tables
Author: Booker, Carolyn
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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The purpose of this research is to examine trade-offs and conflicts between performance measures in the UK Higher Education sector. The performance measures under consideration are those which are imposed on a university from outside, such as statutory performance indicators and newspaper league tables, and which bring rewards in the form of either status or funding. The existing literature provides evidence that such measures are causing tension within institutions, but there has to date been no attempt to examine that tension using the tools of management science. The main tool used here is Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). A new DEA model has been developed which extends a trade-off model to incorporate a weighted preference structure. This model is used first to determine the production possibility set for a group of Higher Education Institutions and then to explore the options open to them. In many kinds of performance measurement system the reward achieved by an HEI, such as a "top ten" position or a share of a fixed amount of funding, depends not only on that institution's own decisions but also on the strategic decisions of others. Game Theory provides a range of structures which model such interactive decisions and can aid a decision-maker in determining optimal strategies. The results of the DEA model are therefore processed using a typical league table construction and then evaluated through the lens of Game Theory. The analytical framework developed in this thesis has the potential for application in other educational and social contexts where external performance measures are known or suspected to have an influence on decision-making. The DEA model can additionally be used outwith this framework in any context where it is desirable to permit selective target-setting and to accommodate value judgments in the specification of the production possibility set.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available