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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The combination of expanded participation in higher education and changing state financing and governance policies is transforming the nature and activities of research universities in many OECD countries. Historically, their strategic autonomy as discrete organizational actors and ability to develop distinctive competitive competences differed considerably between national higher education systems. Three main types of university can be distinguished in these terms: Hollow, State-Chartered, and Corporate. Limited formal delegation of authority over academic staff and other resources and responsibility for scientific and financial performance to the managers of hollow-like universities is leading to the emergence of a fourth type: State-guided. The increasing intensification of pseudo-market competition for resources and prestige between state-chartered universities together with greater state steering of research priorities is reducing their strategic independence. The growing use of performance-based funding and standardized research evaluation systems by many states encourages imitation strategies and increases tensions between university management and academics pursuing extra-institutional scientific goals.

Keywords: organizational actors, university autonomy, university types, funding changes, governance reforms, state steering, authority conflicts

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