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Title: The process of discursive institutional work in creating an innovative degree development practice : an institutionalisation approach to innovation
Author: Gunn , Frances Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 8948
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2014
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Developing sector-specific university degrees is a challenging process for universities and sectoral members. The development of these degrees needs to incorporate industry-specific resources whilst satisfying the universities' institutional degree requirements. The process is particularly problematic when there has not previously been a degree devoted to the sector and when there has not been sector-wide communication about the need for a degree. This study provides an empirical investigation of the development of Canada's first retail management degree and examines how discursive processes constituted an innovative practice of sector-specific degree development in a fragmented, occupational field. These processes were innovative because they involved a corporate-university partnership, multiple collaborations of institutional and corporate embedded actors, and particular forms of legitimating discursive work. Given the institutional nature of the university, this practice represents a process of institutionalisation, whereby the innovative practice becomes a legitimate means of degree development. By examining this unique case, this study develops an analytic framework to analyse discursive institutionalisation through archival documentation and qualitative interviews. The discursive work performed through the data is characterised by the prominence of generalised issues, and by the nature of its synchronicity, recursiveness and convergence. The resulting institutionalisation processes perform discursive institutional work that is purposive, synchronised, recursive and convergent. This study therefore provides an understanding of how discursive processes institutioalise an innovative practice of retail management degree development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available