Alignment between universities and their affiliated professional schools: organizational segmentation and institutional logics in the USA

  • Ah Ra Cho
  • Barrett Taylor


Universities are classically understood as segmented organizations. In the USA, ties between the university and law and medical schools may be particularly loose because these units have powerful ties to communities of practice and are linked to particular resource streams. Because of these ties to different social fields, medical and law schools may invoke different institutional logics that differentiate their communications from those of the parent university. Latent class analysis identified three distinct categories of university, medical, and law school mission statements in the USA. Logistic regression then predicted the circumstances under which a university and its affiliated professional school were likely to espouse mission statements that fell within the same category. Results indicate that agreement is likely when professional school and university share similar resource bases, suggesting that relationships between universities and their constituent units likely vary as local context moderates macro level patterns.


Universities Professional schools United States Organizational segmentation Institutional logics 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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