Monthly Archives: February 2012

Institutional Change in Higher Education in Germany and the Emergence of the Entrepreneurial University

Another paper is going to be presented at the Higher Education Research Conference in Zürich: Markus Reihlen, Ferdinand Wenzlaff, and Johann Bronstein Bejarano (all from Leuphana University of Lüneburg) attempted to provide a broader understanding of the emergence of entrepreneurial universities. A key argument is that academic entrepreneurship is a response to the institutional change of the higher education field. Therefore the drivers of change and the properties of the eras of higher education must be explained. You find the abstract here:

Within the last 60 years, the German system of higher education has transformed gradually from professional dominance inspired by the Humboldtian model of a rule-governed community of scholars based on values of free inquiry, academic autonomy, and self-regulation into a new regime of managed education. On the macro level, we contribute to the very little research, synthesizing existing findings into a broader, longitudinal analysis of the institutional changes that have unfolded during the postwar period. We develop a better understanding of the societal and managerial issues of the transition and change by employing a theoretical framework of organizational institutionalism by identifying three eras of educational systems in post war Germany: the era of professional dominance, the era of federal involvement and democraticzation, and the era of managed education associated with the rise of the entrepreneurial university. For each era we expound the characterizing institutional logics, actors and governance systems as well as the mechanisms or events which triggered change. On the micro level, very little empirical research has been conducted on the specific institutional conditions, change processes, and practices of entrepreneurial universities in the German context. By illustrating a unique case of one of the most radical transformations of a university in the German postwar period, we contribute to the research gap how a more traditional public university is turned into an entrepreneurial one as a strategic response to institutional change.