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A new method for strategic decision-making in higher education


Using the appropriate methodology for strategic decision-making in higher education is crucial to make effective decisions. In this paper, the analytic network process (ANP), one of the most suitable decision-making methods in terms of higher education issues, is presented and evaluated from the position of the user. After recognising some characteristics of the ANP that can be improved, the main objective of this research was to develop a new method based on the characteristics of the ANP and social network analysis (SNA). The research methodology used in this paper is the design science research process (DSRP), which is often used to design new artefacts, such as models, methods and methodologies. The main phases of this approach include problem identification, objectives of a solution, design and development, demonstration of the artefact, evaluation and dissemination. By using the DSRP, a new decision-making method is designed and proposed. The new method has two components that are based on the ANP and SNA. The first component is related to determining the importance of criteria with respect to the goal of decision-making. The second component is related to modelling influences/dependencies between criteria, and identifying criteria that strongly influence others, as well as criteria that others depend on. A measure that describes how strong a particular criterion is in terms of influences/dependencies is based on the centrality degree, one of the most fundamental centrality measures. In this paper, the new method, which was evaluated on several cases, is demonstrated with example of evaluating scientists, and a comparison of the new method’s results and the ANP method’s results is presented.

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This paper has been supported by the Croatian Science Foundation under the project, “Development of a methodological framework for strategic decision-making in higher education—a case of open and distance learning (ODL) implementation”. Project Number: IP-2014-09-7854. Details about the project can be found at the project website

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Correspondence to Nikola Kadoić.

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Kadoić, N., Ređep, N.B. & Divjak, B. A new method for strategic decision-making in higher education. Cent Eur J Oper Res 26, 611–628 (2018).

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  • ANP
  • SNA
  • Decision-making
  • Higher education