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Higher Education Management and Policy

Institutional Management in Higher Education

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Previously published as Higher Education Management, Higher Education Management and Policy (HEMP) is published three times each year and is edited by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. It covers the field through articles and reports on such issues as quality assurance, human resources, funding, and internationalisation. It also is a source of information on activities and events organised by OECD’s IMHE Programme.

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Keywords: university, policy, administration, institutional, higher, education, practical, practice, management, policies, tertiary

Reconciling organisational culture and external quality assurance in higher education

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Organisational culture and external quality assurance have both been presented as significant drivers of effectiveness, efficiency and excellence in higher education institutions. However, these assumptions have not been critically examined given the philosophical, conceptual and methodological contestations surrounding both constructs. A meta-theoretical analysis of organisational culture and external quality assurance was conducted followed by an empirical study into their interrelationship. The study found that organisational culture was ephemeral, multidimensional and characterised simultaneously by conflict, consensus and indifference and was in a constant state of flux. In addition, external quality assurance appears to have purposes that go beyond its stated morally just and public good motives. The research revealed that organisational culture demonstrated managerial, collegial, transformative and political characteristics, which closely resonated with the role of external quality assurance as an agent of control, empowerment, transformation and of the state, respectively. The study concluded that authentic and enduring academic quality would most likely result within the university when the empowerment and transformation roles strengthen the collegial and transformative cultures.

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