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This chapter analyzes the behavior of early adopters of innovations and followers in the Dutch university sector from 1974–1993. The innovations we concentrate on are…
This chapter analyzes the behavior of early adopters of innovations and followers in the Dutch university sector from 1974–1993. The innovations we concentrate on are (comparable) new study programs. We formulate contrasting expectations bearing on institutional and strategic choice theory concerning the consequences for early adopters versus followers. From an institutional perspective we predict that followers are less successful measured in terms of the quality of the program, the enrollments, and fundamental changes in the program (including closing down the program). Seven chains of innovations (in total 35 new programs) are analyzed. This analysis points out that the behavior of the adopters can be seen as a combination of both strategic choice and institutional adjustment.
Based on data from a two-year, multi-site study of knowledge production in universities, this paper examines how research training is accomplished within the elite sector of research universities in the United States. This analysis suggests substantial differences across institutional settings by contrasting how graduate students learn academic labor in a high prestige, private research university and in a public doctoral-granting institution with fewer resources. Prevailing conceptions of professional socialization are examined in light of not only disciplinary differences, such as physics and history, but also by local campus settings which are characterized by unequal financial and status resources. Such institutional differences in knowledge production raise further concerns about structurally caused accumulated advantage and disadvantage, particularly the effects of stratification on individuals as well as possible dysfunctions within the academic system.
This chapter (based on the results of a large research project that was finished in 1997) focuses on the relation between governmental steering activities and the…
This chapter (based on the results of a large research project that was finished in 1997) focuses on the relation between governmental steering activities and the occurrence of innovations in university curricula. Curricula are one means through which universities disseminate their knowledge and their expertise to others in society. Other actors in the higher education system, like professional organizations, employers, and (national) governments, have a great interest in this dissemination function of university curricula. Three propositions specify the expected relations between different types of governmental steering and the curriculum innovativeness of a university system. A comparative research design is used to test these expectations, including the Netherlands, France, Pennsylvania (USA) and England, and two periods of time (the late 1970s and the late 1980s). Two specific curriculum innovations are selected: the introduction of a new undergraduate degree program and the introduction of a new specialization (or major) within an existing undergraduate program. Besides a quantitative count of the number of innovations that occurred, a limited number of innovations is studied in more detail through interviews with key actors. The analysis of the empirical findings leads to interesting conclusions. I present some alternative explanations that might explain the unexpected findings.
This analysis of higher education reform in England, Norway, and Sweden is based on a dynamic regime approach. I make the argument that variations in policy can be…
This analysis of higher education reform in England, Norway, and Sweden is based on a dynamic regime approach. I make the argument that variations in policy can be explained in terms of characteristics of policy regimes defined as the network of actors and patterns of influence that are particular to a policy area or an entire polity. I define policy content as policy design operationalized as a set of characteristics of the policy instruments that are deployed. The paper first outlines and analyzes the policy design of recent higher education reforms by focusing on the choice of policy instruments. Then it turns to the regime characteristics of higher education policy and develops the concepts that are used for the analysis of regime changes. I discuss both the roles of the main actors, including central government agencies, local institutions, elites, and interest groups and the relationship between the actors. Finally, follows a discussion of processes of change within dynamic policy regimes and the main empirical analyses of regime changes and emerging policies under the current policy regimes. The paper concludes that the relationship between policy regime and policy design manifested itself as different policy styles. The English policy style was revolutionary, the Norwegian incremental, whereas the Swedish was adversarial.