Governance and Management in Higher Education: Volume 43

Cover of Governance and Management in Higher Education

Table of contents

(15 chapters)


Pages i-viii
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Part I: Governance and Daily Practices


The current scenario of higher education is undergoing a paradigm shift due to, among other factors, globalization, internationalization, cross border exchange of students and student mobility. This socioeconomic change has prompted educational institutions to brace themselves to deliver education in new ways. The authors are living in an age marked by information revolution where the phenomena of physical distance have shrunk giving way to online education and other innovative pedagogies. With the advent of new ways to teach and learn, education the concept of autonomy, accountability and responsibility has become the new buzz words in academia. Universities need to be more flexible and incorporate the needs of society into their mission and vision. Since education at all levels has become a key driver in economic and social development, universities must reorient their focus on the needs of society and the economy. Autonomy in governance and management in education has become the prerogative of higher education institutions and optimum allocation and use of resources have become one of the chief aims of all higher education institutions.

This book explores the creation of knowledge and its dissemination in order to create significant impacts in society. The chapters talk about the highly competitive education market and the transformation it has undergone. Authors from across the globe have suggested interventions that will help in sustainable growth of universities while enhancing quality standards. The chapters present a better understanding of a philosophy of management, society, development and education.


The global higher education (HE) sector is increasingly becoming more competitive and has experienced a significant amount of transformation. Within the last 20 years changes occurred within legal frameworks, governing funding schemes, quality assurance systems and apprenticeship programs for industry across a widening range of HE provisions that support the upskilling of the workforce. This chapter shows that, higher education institutions (HEIs) are constantly seeking alternative ways of developing and consolidating new financial streams (partnering with other HEIs, geographical growth and portfolio development) that allow a sustainable development while maintaining high quality standards. The chapter shows that governments and experts believe enterprise-wide risk management (EWRM) can help HEIs reduce risk but also shows that it is not widely implemented in the HE sector.

This chapter critically discusses the implementation of EWRM in the context of a private HEI case study example with the purpose of ensuring business continuity and sustainable growth, while maintaining and enhancing quality standards. The importance of EWRM is discussed and illustrated through the case study research approach where the author analyzes the importance of risk management starting from preparation to program evaluation. This case study review provides a comprehensive and detailed answer as to how adoption of EWRM has been applied through adopting an international standards approach and utilizing the improvement cycle of preparation, plan, do, check and act. The chapter aligns well with the scope of the book as it provides theoretical and practical insights related to EWRM which is very important in assisting HEI governors and leaders in developing resilient and competitive educational establishments.


This chapter provides an ethnographic look at higher education strategic planning through the lens of Williams College’s 2018–2020 effort to develop a 20-year plan for the institution. The critical analysis of Williams’ multi-community engagement contributes to studies of higher education and to literature in the sociocultural anthropological field of “policy as a practice of power” by applying core tenets of the field to strategic planning analysis. Drawing on 12 months of participation-observation and documentary research, the investigation brings into focus Williams’ heterarchical leadership structure and the negotiation practices that contributed to establish the legitimacy and appropriation of William’s strategic plan values. The chapter also shifts toward a contextualized perspective of strategic planning, highlighting campus community divides and the practices that contributed to bridge these fault lines and foster trust during the Fall 2019 campus-wide outreach process. Through the chapter, the analysis re-interprets beliefs of strategic planning and implementation as a top-down, normative imposition, and brings an ethnographic lens to reveal practices of negotiation, convergence, and value appropriation.


In this chapter, the authors present several current issues that are representative of chinks’ in the armor of university administration today. This study brings into attention the importance of philosophy, society, development and education that serve to strengthen the operational–development nexus in higher education institutions. The objectives are (i) to draw the attention of administrators to these “chinks” in the armor of university operations; (ii) to indicate how their resolution can strengthen the operations–development nexus; and (iii) to encourage continuous reflection on the background of better understandings of a philosophy of management, society, development and education.


Case study research undertaken in Spring 2019 uncovered that only a small percentage of a university workforce were able to engage with a large, influential teaching regulation. This “exclusivity” impacted on the relationships in the academic schools studied and by extension, the capacity that the regulation had to enhance teaching. Key findings included the regulatory agenda elevating the status of some workers while increasing the precariousness of others, an inability to agree on a local definition of excellence and general confusion, ambivalence and disdain surrounding structural and cultural changes.

This chapter uses the example of the English Teaching Excellence Framework, a relatively new centrally imposed quality framework, to explore “frontline” professional services staff as policy actors. This chapter will use the study’s findings to explore the complex identities, tensions, and workplace dynamics of staff working to implement regulation locally and provide a reflection of the case study methodology used to expose these findings. In its exploration of the complex reality of policy enactment, I hope to encourage institutions to consider local engagement with regulation by repositioning them within institutional discourse as opportunities rather than threats. This study should speak to those that are navigating HE governance and management to meet commanding central regulation.


Conceptualizations of university governance have varied over time, with some scholars focused on the structure of stakeholder groups such as faculty, staff, and students in relation to how institutions make decisions, others focus on the competing spheres of political influence guiding institutional development, and most recently that higher education has adopted business management structures or academic capitalism. Each of these conceptualizations offered new insights into how universities make decisions and evolve. The interactions between the non-profit aspects of higher education institutions and their effects on the internal governance structures have been underdeveloped. In this chapter, the authors propose an urban governance approach to understanding how actors and their institutions make decisions.

In this chapter, the authors dissect these models and propose a shift in perspective described as academic municipalities. Prior models on university decision-making and its impact on institutional constituents all make certain sacrifices when attempting to conceptualize the complex organizational functions of the university. Birnbaum and Tierney in their arguments do not provide enough value to the structure imposed on higher education institutions by virtue of their non-profit status. The corporate concept does not account for the political ramifications to university functions that reach beyond corporate models. Academic capitalism explains the shift of the university to account for changes in the global marketplace but it does not explain the latent functions of the university, such as contributing to the public good, housing, libraries, public services, and other non-market-based activities. What is needed is an explanation that accounts for both market and political forces at play in the university.


The perception and communication of risk for organizations are highly topical and difficult to address in higher education (HE) due to its complexity and variety of structures, processes and identities. The omnipresence of managerialism in HE currently also impacts organizational innovation. This is interrogated in terms of the form and effect of innovation and improvization (Cunha, Neves, Clegg, & Rego, 2015). The development of tools to manage risk perception is discussed alongside perceptions of risk and their potential management through agile processes to enable a university-wide collaboration across services to enable a unified and streamlined proactive management of risk and its corollaries of loss.

The focus of this chapter is on the daily management of operational risks in higher education institutions (HEIs). It considers the causes and impact of drift and competitiveness in organizational processes and their impact on organizational efficiency. This chapter will consider risk perception and contract management across HEIs.

Part II: Strategic Plans and Policies


Public universities in South Africa are required to govern, manage and structure themselves in accordance with the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997. Notwithstanding this, institutional culture also plays a role in determining how governance is conducted within these universities. This is shown within the Institutional Statutes and Rules, wherein the nature of both the leadership and governance processes manifest in these documents. The 2015–2016 proved to be a watershed year in the South African higher education (HE) sector, as it reflected on inter alia, how academic endeavor and governance of universities is to be achieved. Prior to this period and post the advent of the new democracy, public universities operated under significant autonomy. More broadly pre-2015–2016 Statutes reflect this, with historically white institutions evidencing prioritizing autonomy as the prime driver of governance. Attempts to introduce self-regulatory codes were resisted, as they were seen as a way to corporatize and managerialize universities. This chapter reviews the impact of institutional culture and the fallists’ protests on the governance models of three universities, through the analysis of their institutional statutes pre- and post-2015–2016 period. It contextualizes HE governance both internationally and locally, and further outlines forms of governance within South African higher education institutions.


Using organizational theory as a lens, in this chapter, the author critiques the neoliberal rationality in which the national and international ranking systems take precedence over the institutional missions and visions in institutional operations. The author argues that these essentialized ranking systems overlook the necessary diversity and uniqueness of institutions in the higher education system. The author outlines the potential role of mission statements in setting the institutional priorities, and the unnecessary pressure caused neoliberalism against such priorities. The implications of such imperatives for quality in various academic practices are identified and the unfairness of coercive isomorphism in higher education is illustrated. The author then proposes a spatial approach in which universities, nationally and internationally, can appreciate diversity in identity and work together, drawing from each other’s strengths to strengthen the higher education system that will support students and promote national economies.


Higher education institutions (HEIs) have multiple roles including teaching, research and more recently projects for the benefit of local communities. From a management and leadership perspective, the formation and implementation of strategic plans and the collaboration with stakeholders have traditionally been based on formal agreements based on existing operational organizations and structures. Their strategic plans and collaborations with stakeholders are now evolving to become more organic and collaborative. They have become essential participants of the innovation and learning ecosystems and knowledge intensive communities as shown here in the case of Finland and Australia. New businesses and regions, especially in Europe and non-European Union countries such as Australia, are encouraged to identify and develop their own competitive advantages by analyzing their strengths and strategic potential growth areas.

This so-called Smart Specialization (RIS3) strategy brings HEIs together with the local authorities, business companies and civil society to co-operate in order to prioritize research and development (R&D) investment in the region. The need for Smart Specialization also challenges HEIs to rethink their visions and renew the present siloed and closed-ended practices.

This chapter examines and compares the management and leadership of the HEIs as actions are undertaken to effectively lead the Finnish and Australian HEIs toward their visions. These case studies demonstrate approaches which influence good institutional governance and management. It describes how LAB-ammattikorkeakoulu (LAB University of Applied Sciences) in Finland, and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia have implemented a RIS3 strategy, notably in health and well-being and agricultural (R&D) projects. These enhance the scope of accountability and participation of stakeholders. The chapter provides practice-based evidence to policy makers in higher education regarding HEIs’ responsible contribution to society.


As a sector, higher education is at the low end of innovation rankings. The challenges we face – demographic, technological, political, and pedagogical – will require sustained innovation at a strategic level. Recent research with mature companies has identified exemplars in strategic innovation (e.g., O’Connor, Corbett, & Peters, 2018). This work explores whether – and how – higher education institutions might adapt insights from the corporate sector for strategic innovation in teaching and learning.

The introductory section provides an overview of the nature of strategic innovation (and why it is hard to sustain), strategic issues facing higher education, and the status and challenges of sustaining strategic innovation for teaching. The next two sections describe insights from research with corporate exemplars of sustaining strategic innovation. Each section uses a scenario from higher education as a proof-of-concept test to explore the application of the corporate sector insights for strategic innovation in higher education teaching and learning.

The final section of the chapter discusses the planned next steps to prototype and test adaptation of these corporate sector insights with institutional innovation leaders in higher education, as well as additional potential sources of insights (from other research in the corporate sector and from strategic innovation in the public sector).

Name Index

Pages 213-220
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Subject Index

Pages 221-228
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Cover of Governance and Management in Higher Education
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Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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