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The Merging of the Higher Educational Institutions: Institutional and Organizational Change

The Merging of the Higher Educational Institutions: Institutional and Organizational Change

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 9 (no. 3),

Higher education reforms in Russia had been initiated in response to the challenge of time, such as new technologies development, optimization of government expenditures, commercialization of higher education and its “mass” character. Currently implemented reforms rely upon the ideas of neo-liberal thinking, which is operationalized in the methods of regulation within the New Public Management approach. Institutional and organizational change in the higher education are the subject of research in Neo-institutional economics and Original Institutional economics. This paper deals primarily with the Original Institutionalist approach, with its focus on the institutional context of reforms: embedded working rules and social values, corporate culture and organizational specificities. For the recent decades, many Western countries have implemented, and are implementing nowadays, higher education reforms. Related change not only affects proportions of public and private expenditures on higher education, universities’ funding sources, but issues of academic freedom, social value of higher education and its role in the modern society as well. In terms of direction, higher education in Russia is convergent with the world-wide trends: integration into the global market of educational services and rethinking the role of the university as a business organization. However the paradox occurs that performance of the university under the ideas of New Public Management implies market or quasi-market environment. This environment should be much about decentralization of administrative hierarchies and growing autonomy of the universities. But in reality these processes are much about reduced academic freedom and tightened control over the universities’ performance through a system of the objectives and targets.

Keywords: higher education reforms; science and education; organizational change; institutional change; merger of higher education institutions.

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