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Administrators in higher education: organizational expansion in a transforming institution

Baltaru, RD and Soysal, YN (2018) 'Administrators in higher education: organizational expansion in a transforming institution.' Higher Education, 76 (2). pp. 213-229. ISSN 0018-1560

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Recent European research has revealed growth in the number of administrators and professionals across different sections of universities—a long established trend in US universities. We build on this research by investigating the factors associated with variation in the proportion of administrators across 761 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in 11 European countries. We argue that the enactment of expanded and diversified missions of HE is one of the main factors nurturing universities’ profesional and administrative bodies. Our findings support such an assertion; regardless of geographical and institutional differences, HEIs with high levels of “entrepreneurialism” (e.g. in service provision and external engagement) are characterized by a larger proportion of administrative staff. However, we find no empirical support for arguments citing structural pressures and demands on HEIs due to higher student enrolments, budget cuts or deregulation as engines driving such change. Instead, our results point towards, as argued by neo-institutionalists, the diffusion of formal organization as a model of institutional identity and purpose, which is especially prevalent at high levels of external connectedness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher education; Professional and administrative staff; Organizational expansion; Functionalism; Neo-institutionalism; Entrepreneurialism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 12:06
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:43

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