Economic and institutional perspectives on the management of financial stress: Case studies from Mexico.
AuthorMartinez, Nora Hilda.
AdvisorRhoades, Gary D.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBased on case studies of a private and a public Mexican university, this research studied the economic strategies adopted by institutions of higher education to respond to financial stress. Rather than assuming that these strategies were selected primarily on the basis of their economic efficiency, the social processes that led to their adoption were explored. Economic development theory (Schumpeter, 1934) was employed to describe and conceptualize the universities' responses to financial difficulties. The concepts of institutional rules and rational myths in the environment (Meyer and Rowan, 1977), and the processes that lead organizations to become similar to their environment (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983), were utilized to explore the role of the institutional environment on decision-making in times of fiscal uncertainty. The study was exploratory in nature, utilizing data collected through university documents and interviews with university administrators. The data was analyzed through analytical semantics and content analysis. Results indicated that financial stress was managed through economic measures, however the universities' institutional environments filtered and gave specific meaning to particular decision strategies. Institutional rules in the environment, acquiring the character of rationalized myths, permeated and determined decision-making choices, and were evidenced in and sustained by mimetic, normative, and coercive processes. Results suggest that (1) different approaches are concurrently useful in looking at the management of financial stress, (2) institutional theory can be applied to the study of decision-making and not only to explain structural arrangements, and (3) treatment of the institutional environment as a phenomenon to be studied is essential to future research employing institutional theory.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration