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Concepts in Higher Education Governance

Modes of coordination

Mintzberg (structure in fives):

1. Mutual adjustment (informal communication)
2. Direct supervision (top down issuing instructions
and monitoring actions)
3. Standardization of input skills (input skills are
designed to meet predetermined standards)
4. Standardization of work processes (programming
the processes though standards)
5. Standardization of outputs (results of the work are
Clarks triangle of co-ordination
has four modes of coordination

Academics: professional

Country A

Country B

Country A1

State: bureaucratic and Market: demand

political coordination and supply
Van Vughts dichotomy
where is the market?

State control: strong authority of state bureaucracy and a strong position of the
academic oligarchy / state regulates access conditions, the curriculum, degree
requirements, examination systems, appointments of staff, etc / professional


Supervising state model: authority in the hands of strong academic communities

and institutional leadership / state steers from a distance / assuring academic
quality / no detailed regulation
Braun and Merrien cube on governance
bringing belief systems in

Substantial control (what)

Procedural control (how)

The governance equalizer

Five governance dimensions that together create a mix

that reflects a particular mode of governance

These five dimensions are:

(State) regulation
Stakeholder guidance
Academic self-governance
Managerial self-governance
Competition for scarce resources
(State) regulation:
concerns top down authority vested in the state; regulation by
detailed directives
Stakeholder guidance:
Directing universities through goal setting without prescribing
how goals must be achieved; goal setting by the state and
external stakeholders
Academic self-governance:
Collegial decision making in universities and peer review based

Managerial self-governance:
Universities as corporate actors; institutional leadership affects
agenda setting and strategic decision making
Competition for scarce resources:
Allocating of services through market-based mechanisms
Governance equalizer


Governance equalizer:
NPM ideal-type


Governance equalizer:
Changes in HE


4 countries compared

State Academic Stakeholder Managerial Compe-

regulation SG guidance SG tition
Different models and concepts for:

The state, its role and relationships with institutions

The university
The academic oligarchy
Four models for state HEIs
(Olsen 1988)

Sovereign rationality-bounded model

Institutional steering model
Corporate-pluralist model
Supermarket steering model
Four models of state HEIs
(Olsen 1988)

Sovereign rationality-bounded model (cf. state control model)

HE is an instrument for reaching national goals
hierarchy: parliamentary chain of command
HEIs only take technical decisions

Institutional steering model

Universities are responsible for protecting academic values
Universities are supposed to play a socio-economic and cultural role
No direct interference of the state
norm is shared that HE needs protection against the tides of markets and
political whims
Four models of state HEIs
(Olsen 1988)

Corporate-pluralist model
several competing and legitimate centers of authority and control
stakeholders voice their interests
Negotiating, consultancy, alliances / absolute power of parliament limited

Supermarket steering model

Role of the state is minimal (night-watchman)
superiority of the market assumed
State as market engineer
Service delivery: efficient, economy-driven, flexible

1) Based on the HE governance literature, how would you describe

the changes in terms of the four models for state HEIs
2) How would you describe the developments/changes in terms of the
four models in your country?
Three organizational ideals of
universities (Bleiklie 1999)

The university as a public agency

Part of the national civil service (bureaucracy) and implementer of public
policy (loyalty)
Utilitarian functions as defined by politicians
The university as an autonomous cultural institution
Autonomous research and teaching to deliver academic quality
Peer-driven system
The university as a corporate enterprise
Producer of educational and research services
Quality AND efficiency
Four organizational ideals of
universities (Olsen 2005; McNay 1999)

The university as a self-governing community of scholars (collegium)

Free inquiry, truth finding, rationality and expertise
Scientific quality
Driven by the internal dynamics of science radical and rapid change
The university as an instrument for national political agendas
(bureaucracy corporation)
Implementing predetermined political objectives
Effective and efficient achievement of national purposes
Change by political decisions
Four organizational ideals of
universities (Olsen 2005; McNay 1999)

The university as a representative democracy

Interest representation
Accommodating internal interests
Change depends on bargaining and conflict resulation and changes in

The university as a service enterprise embedded in competitive

markets (enterprise)
Community service, partly through market exchange
Meeting community demands
Competitive selection - entrepreneurship
Another exercise:

Can you describe the changes as regards universities in your country

with the models just briefly discussed? And what the effects of these
changes for management, students, academics and society at large?
Professionals and the
consequences of the reforms

Professional bureaucracies: dependence of professionals and
their expert knowledge to perform specialized work
Professionals have high degree of autonomy and often a
monopoly of their working area
Hierarchy-based leadership not accepted; professional
leadership as a comprise between hierarchy and competence
Development of own internal control and collegial supervision
Professionals and the
consequences of the reforms

New public management:

Professional as villains
Autonomous professionals are seen as motivated by self-interest
and are only after more resources to increase their prestige
Mistrust instead of trust
Subordination, hierarchy and control as governing principles to
replace the governing principle of professional norms and values
Managers / bureaucrats Professionals / academics

Collective - organization Individual team/discipline loyal to the


De-humanized Personalized professional-client relationship

Market-orientation Professional identity disinterested service


Efficiency Quality

Administrative expertise Content expertise

Top down supervision Professional standards and peer assessment

Formal specification of roles Standardization of skills trough externally

controlled training and qualification

instructed Control their own work

NPM and the academic response?

Research: The credibility cycle

Researchers are highly motivated to gain credibility
(acceptance and legitimacy), which is achieved through
research performance for which resources are required

What are the effects of introducing new values, beliefs and

aspirations in the game academics play?
The academic response to reforms?
1. Victory of managerial values over professional ones; de-
professionalization; end of self regulation and control

2. Victory of academic values; academics can still be in the drivers seat;

absorbing managerial values

3. A blend of academic and managerial values; adaptation of traditional

values; soft monitoring of academic work with professionals still in control
and implementing new forms of self policing

Literature on academic values and identity may provide you some of the
answers. It is important to underline the differences among academic
disciplines (work routines; belief systems; norms and values)