Comparing Management and Self-Governance Models of University. An International Comparison of University Decision-Making Processes and their Consequences on Research in Practice (completed 2010)

Researchers

  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Kehm
  • Dr. Ute Lanzendorf
  • Dr. Jürgen Enders (CHEPS)
  • Dr. Harry de Boer (CHEPS)
  • Prof. Dr. Liudvika Leisyte (CHEPS)
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe Schimank (Fernuni Hagen)
  • Dr. Nicolas Winterhager

Period

  • 2003 - 2010


The aim of this international study is to compare two models of university governance: the traditional model of academic self-governance and the more recently developed managerial model of public institutions. The first connects academic self-steering to strong state regulation, while the second is regularly linked to concepts of new public management. The latter is already functioning in several countries and is under discussion in many others. The ideal type of the managerial model stresses the expansion of hierarchical self-steering mechanisms inside universities, less emphasis on academic self-governance, and rolling back state regulations. Moreover, it also emphasizes a steering philosophy known as ‘management by objectives’, which involves several actors and in which the competition between universities is more intense. The two models of university governance are seen in many respects as opposites. The key questions in this study are 1) how the two governance models affect the general features of university decision-making, and 2) how they affect the specific features of doing research (e.g. in terms of innovativeness and competitiveness). The prevailing model of self-governance in German universities will be compared and analyzed in three directions: - With the experiences from those countries where the management model, or at least parts of it, already operates (apart from Germany, the involved countries are Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) - with the experiences of particular German public non-university research institutes that have also implemented elements of the management model and with the first actual reform experiences of some German universities. The empirical part of this international, multi-level study employs in-depth case studies at the basic levels of the university (e.g. of research groups and research institutes and their organizational contexts). In each country, case studies will be conducted in two disciplines: ‘red’ biotechnology and medieval history. The main question is not just whether the university governing models and the research are correlated, but rather —assuming that there is a correlation—what such a relationship looks like. Our goal is to explain how the governance models affect the research of the basic units. Partners: Prof. Dr. Uwe Schimank (FernUniversität Hagen; als Projektkoordinator) und Prof. Dr. Jürgen Enders (CHEPS, Universität Twente, NL).