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Takeovers in Swedish higher education: Comparing the “hostile” and the “friendly”
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7437-2152
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning. (ORGANISATION OCH LEDARSKAP)
2016 (English)In: Mergers in higher education: The experience from Northern Europe / [ed] Rómulo Pinheiro, Lars Geschwind, Timo Aarrevaara, Dordrecht: Springer, 2016, 145-159 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Among the recent mergers in Swedish higher education, two have been takeovers, where the smaller party has been fully integrated into the larger party. These are, firstly, the takeover of Stockholm Institute of Education by Stockholm University in 2008 and, secondly, the takeover of Gotland University College by Uppsala University in 2013. Our comparative analysis of the two mergers shows that the main drivers and rationales, as well as the implementation, differ substantially. Whereas the former was a conflict-ridden process driven by a national political agenda and ideological disagreement on quality, the latter was a more proactive, reciprocal process driven principally by financial and personal motives at the institutional level. As such, the processes can be labelled “hostile” and “friendly”, respectively. Beyond this categorisation, however, the cases are found to carry more complexity. Depending on how “success” is defined, both processes have had some positive short- and mid-term effects. This partly contradicts previous studies identifying e.g. lengthy consolidation phases and cultural compatibility as success factors. Both cases point to the role of the state and the importance of the political context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer, 2016. 145-159 p.
Series
, Higher Education Dynamics, ISSN 1571-0378 ; 46
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185762DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21918-9_9ISBN: 978-3-319-21917-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-185762DiVA: diva2:923549
Note

QC 20160429

Available from: 2016-04-26 Created: 2016-04-26 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Active University: Studies of Contemporary Swedish Higher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Active University: Studies of Contemporary Swedish Higher Education
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, contemporary universities and their response to external pressure are studied. The term “the active university” is put forward as an analytical tool. The active university “acts” in two ways: by taking concrete initiatives and by playing a role. The concept is inspired by theories on strategic actorhood and by new institutional theory.

The thesis presents empirical studies of a number of strategic initiatives undertaken by Swedish universities in recent years. Predominantly drawn from the technical university sector, the initiatives include evaluation projects, organisational change, policy changes and new work practices. The policy context is new public management and recent reforms aimed at improving accountability and management capacity in the higher education sector.

In the empirical studies, “acting as strategy” and “acting as role play” both come to the fore. External rationales to do with quality and competition are frequently put forward as motives for internal change. Many of the initiatives are image-driven. At the same time they can have profound, albeit sometimes unintended, internal consequences. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. iv, 87 p.
Series
TRITA-ECE, 2016-1
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186194 (URN)978-91-7729-007-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-02, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160509

Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-04 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved

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