Institutional theory has arguably become a popular and powerful explanatory tool for studying various organisational issues, including those in the context of higher education. However, little is known about the efforts of higher education researchers in tracing the development of organisational institutionalism and applying the theory in their research for a better understanding of the nature of universities and colleges. The purpose of this chapter is thus to fill the gaps by analysing nine leading higher education journals. The results indicate that the application of institutional theory in higher education research is dominated by the concepts of new institutionalism developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In spite of a growing tendency to utilise the recently developed insights of institutional theory in higher education studies, the full potential of institutional theory has not been fully exploited by higher education researchers. We therefore propose some directions for further institutional analysis in higher education studies.
Cai, Y. and Mehari, Y. (2015), "The Use of Institutional Theory in Higher Education Research", Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2056-375220150000001001Download as .RIS
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