高等教育組織存立の分析視角（2） : 「脱連結」論から見た改革・実践・アウトカム
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On the Survival of Higher Education as Organization: Decoupling theory and its application
The pervasive spread of rationalizing trends in Higher Education, such as the fiscal constraints, escalating competition, and demands for greater accountability and transparency, have created significant changes in higher education organizations’ external environments. As a result, there is growing pressure on them to adopt and implement policies that may have few, if any, benefits for their technical core functions. This situation is characterized as decoupling by Bromley and Powell as reflective of meansends decoupling. Bromley and Powell differentiate means-ends decoupling from policy-practice decoupling which characterizes a situation where a policy is adopted but not actually implemented, sometimes referred to as symbolic adoption.
In this study, the goal is to unpack the black box that follows adoption with an eye to sharpening understanding of decoupling in the Organization of Japanese Higher Education. The core findings are twofold: First, after controlling other variables, pedagogical methods such as an Active Learning, recommended by Central Education Council, did not have a significant effect at promoting students understanding of the contents of class, except for small class of humanities. In this case, policy-practice decoupling is a process by which universities respond to institutional pressures for which professors may or may not have capacity, willingness, or affinity. Second, although competitive research grants increase the ‘quantity’ of academic performance by professors, basic research funds that can be used freely increase the ‘quality’ of performance. The study argues that despite the policy to constraint basic research budgets, benefits of basic research funds illustrates a case study of means-ends decoupling in that ‘logic of confidence’ in this practice is maintained.
Lastly, this research is not intended to be criticism of policy, but rather a discussion of how difficult it is to link both policy-practice and practices-outcomes in the production of the Organization of Higher Education.
Daigaku ronshu: Research in higher education
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