Institutional imperatives versus emergent dynamics: a case study on continuous change in higher education

KONDAKÇI Y. , Van den Broeck H.

HIGHER EDUCATION, vol.58, no.4, pp.439-464, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10734-009-9204-2
  • Title of Journal : HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Page Numbers: pp.439-464


This qualitative case study examines continuous change in a higher education organization (HEO). Both real time and retrospective data covering a 6-year period of the case were collected. The findings suggest that, in order to meet institutional imperatives the HEO defined several managerial and academic domains when the internationalization process was launched. When organizational members activate these domains they confronted with local needs, problems, and opportunities, which enable them to modify, update or extend the defined domains. In addition, throughout time the members constantly realize the missing parts and incorporate them into the process. These findings suggest several insights on the adaptability of higher education organizations.