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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Universities are a distinct organizational type, evolved for a particular set of purposes and resting essentially on the allocation of influence to scholars, within a supporting administrative system. This traditional structure is now threatened by forces that have risen on a wave of global demand never before experienced. University management is now under severe pressure to reconcile the earlier rationale with the recent pressures. This is an under-researched managerial challenge. To address it lessons are drawn from a general theory of executive duty in large complex organizations undergoing change. At the core of this is the problem of retaining willing cooperation with the organization’s purposes by its key members. A current partial response to this challenge is reported. Certain more universal lessons about moral legitimacy and executive authority within strategic management are also drawn.

Keywords: university structures, executive functions, organizational values, cooperation, communications, morality

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