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Title: The management of strategic change : case studies of UK students unions
Author: Guan, Lu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 6913
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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This research examined the management of strategic change within the students' union in the UK and the associated governance issues. This agenda was undertaken through an evaluation of the pressures for and responses to change within contemporary students' unions. As a prelude to this analysis of strategic change, the study also undertook a scholarly assessment of the roles and development of UK students' unions. Empirical studies were undertaken to obtain first-hand data to develop findings about strategic changes and the management of such changes in students' unions. Five students' unions were chosen for the case studies. The choice of case studies was based around a city-centre theme and contrasts in terms of factors such as old and new universities, finance and governance status issues. Methods for collecting data in this research incorporated questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, participant observation and documentary analysis. This study also used a diverse collection of scholarly literature from both management and political science. The research shows that students' unions in the UK had been through, or were in the process of going through, a process of strategic changes during approximately the last decade. Such changes were triggered by both external and internal pressures. The study identified a highly problematic strategic management process within students' unions. Although each change situation was unique, there were common obstacles and constraints occurring during the process of change. The analysis of the data obtained from the empirical research suggested that the success of strategic management depended significantly on whether there was an effective partnership between student officers and the management. However, the effectiveness of the partnership, as implied in the previous governance structure, was questioned. The study also discussed the consequences of recent governance reform within students' unions, identified consequences for democracy and accountability and showed that at one students' union these changes had dismantled the democratic inheritance, which had been replaced by weak scrutiny and consultative arrangements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available