Does It Really Matter? Assessing the Performance Effects of Changes in Leadership and Management Structures in Nordic Higher Education
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Original versionPulkkinen, K., Aarrevaara, T., Berg, L. N., Geschwind, L., Hansen, H. F., Hernes, H., . . . Söderlind, J. (2019). Does it really matter? Assessing the performance effects of changes in leadership and management structures in nordic higher education. In R. Pinheiro, L. Geschwind, H. F. Hansen, & K. Pulkkinen (Eds.), Reforms, organizational change and performance in higher education (pp. 3-36).
Universities are public organisations, which operate in a highly institutionalised environment. They are heavily dependent on public resources. As such, universities are susceptible to shifts in governance arrangements but are also far from being passive recipients of reform agendas. They face demands from multiple internal constituencies (academics, administrators, students, managers) and from a variety of external stakeholders. This chapter explores the interplay between governance arrangements resulting from policy shifts and university dynamics. It sets the stage for the book, asking the following research questions: (1) what characterises changes in governance regimes in Nordic universities in the last decade and a half, and (2) what effects have these changes had in the evolution of higher education systems? The chapter takes a comparative approach and identifies similarities and differences across the Nordic countries. This chapter serves as a frame of reference for the book and includes a common methods and data section.