Stratified University Strategies: The Shaping of Institutional Legitimacy in a Global Perspective
Lee, Jenny J.
Marei, Mahmoud Sayed
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Ctr Study Higher Educ
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
CitationStensaker, B., Lee, J. J., Rhoades, G., Ghosh, S., Castiello-Gutiérrez, S., Vance, H., ... & O’Toole, L. (2018). Stratified university strategies: The shaping of institutional legitimacy in a global perspective. The Journal of Higher Education, 1-24.
JournalJOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Rights© 2019 The Ohio State University
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractGlobalizing forces have both transformed the higher education sector and made it increasingly homogenous. Growing similarities among universities have been attributed to isomorphic pressures to ensure and/or enhance legitimacy by imitating higher education institutions that are perceived as successful internationally, particularly universities that are highly ranked globally (Cantwell & Kauppinen, 2014; DiMaggio and Powell, 1983). In this study, we compared the strategic plans of 78 high-ranked, low-ranked, and unranked universities in 33 countries in 9 regions of the world. In analyzing the plans of these 78 universities, the study explored patterns of similarity and difference in universities' strategic positioning according to Suchman's (1995) 3 types of legitimacy: cognitive, pragmatic, and moral. We found evidence of stratified university strategies in a global higher education landscape that varied by institutional status. In offering a corrective to neoinstitutional theory, we suggest that patterns of globalization are mediated by status-based differences in aspirational behavior (Riesman, 1958) and "old institutional" forces (Stinchcombe, 1997) that contribute to differently situated universities pursuing new paths in seeking to build external legitimacy.
Note18 month embargo; published online: 13 Sep 2018
VersionFinal accepted manuscript