Competitive governance and configurations of university governance - a qualitative meta-study


Jetta Frost
Luisa Overmeyer

Prof. Dr. Jetta Frost (Leitung) (University of Hamburg)
Luisa Overmeyer (University of Hamburg)

The German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat; 2018: 39) has recently stated in its recommendations on university governance that competition is one of the most comprehensively implemented instruments of New Public Management. It has been used to an extent "that exceeds the universities’ capacities to act and strategize and has unintended effects on their governance practices". This is the starting point of the present subproject proposal which addresses the interdisciplinary research questions related to the overall description of positioning, dynamics, and consequential effects of competition. The aim of this project is to carry out a qualitative meta-study to investigate how competition, as a mode of control, diffuses into universities; what configurations of university governance evolve in combination with other organizational modes of governance; and what effects are associated with them. This is congruent with the characterization of multiple competition as stated in the overall description of the research group, that "actors are simultaneously embedded in and nested within several interdependent competitions" (Overall Description, p. 1).