There Are Mergers, and There Are Mergers

The Forms of Inter-institutional Combination

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Mergers have for many years been a fact of life in the for-profit private sector. Recently they have become more common in the public sector and in the not-for-profit private sector. Estimates place the number of mergers among colleges and universities in the last decade at approximately 500. Why do colleges and universities merge? When they use the term "merger" what do they understand it to mean? How is a merger alike or different from other forms of inter-institutional combination. This study addresses those questions by examining the factors that motivate merger, and by determining the extent to which these factors are unique to merger or motivate other forms of inter-institutional co-operation as well. To do this, the study develops a taxonomy of inter-institutional combination, and of the factors that induce institutional behaviour towards co-operation.

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