Institute of Education


What is happening with universities? From 'organised anarchies' to 'penetrated hierarchies'

Start: May 02, 2017 05:30 PM
End: May 02, 2017 07:00 PM

Location: Room 822, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Progression of scholars, photo credit Nic McPhee

Professor Jürgen Enders (University of Bath) looks at the way universities are changing into managed organisations with stronger central leadership.

For decades, students of organisations have characterised universities as a specific kind of organisation and have developed highly influential concepts addressing their limited actorhood and rationality, such as ‘organised anarchy,’ ‘garbage-can decision-making,’ or ‘loose coupling’.

This perspective is changing, reflecting an ongoing socio-political struggle about the institutional form of the university, i.e. re-definitions of the socioeconomic role of universities, changes in their regulation and funding as well as wider processes of the diffusion of business-inspired organisational practices.

Evidence indicates that universities are transforming into ‘penetrated hierarchies’: managed organisations with stronger central leadership and strategic actorhood, introducing hierarchy and formal rule systems for the control of organisational activities and professional work; organisations who face at the same time increasing dependence on a range of external actors for vital resources like funding and prestige penetrating universities and affecting their internal power distribution and hierarchical control.

About the speaker

Professor Jürgen Enders is Professor of Higher Education Management at the School of Management, University of Bath.

This seminar is free and open to all. Please register by emailing alison.peacock@ucl.ac.uk.

Related links

Event contact

Alison Peacock

Image credit: Nic McPhee, via Flickr