Adoption and abandonment: Global diffusion and local variation in university top management teams

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Global Themes and Local Variations in Organization and Management: Perspectives on Glocalization, 2013, pp. 175 - 188
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© 2014 Taylor and Francis. Over the past century, universities worldwide have experienced a multitude of profound changes. The massification of higher education has seen an explosion of the number of universities around the world and dramatic increases in the number of students enrolled in higher education at undergraduate and graduate levels (Schofer and Meyer 2005). This is situated against broader debates in recent decades on the nature and role of the university in society, coupled with increasing demands from an increasing array of stakeholders for accountability (for example, see Castells 1996; Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 1997; Arocena and Sutz 2001; Barry, Chandler, and Clark 2001; Enders and Fulton 2002; Lounsbury and Pollock 2001; Frank and Gabler 2006). The fallout from this debate has seen universities worldwide suffer from reduced public funding, diminished public confidence, and financial pressures that require a reconstruction of structural and resource commitments (Gumport, 2000). This has resulted in what some describe as the ‘marketization’ of higher education (Djelic and Sahlin-Andersson 2006), where students become customers, research needs to be commercialized (Powell and Owen-Smith 1998), and investors want measurable returns and a value-added workforce. Competition from other knowledge-producing institutions shifts the traditional identity of universities, as universities come to be seen not only as educational systems but as economic institutions (Czarniawska and Genell 2002; Bess 2006).
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