Higher Education

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 283–298 | Cite as

An investigation of the impact of international branch campuses on organizational culture

  • William G. Tierney
  • Michael Lanford


The authors first survey the factors related to globalization that have stimulated the creation of international branch campuses. They then contend that the viability of an international branch campus should not be solely evaluated from a rational choice perspective oriented toward economic self-interest. Rather, the organizational culture of the branch campus and the home campus should also be considered, particularly since institutions are cultural entities with specific symbolic and interpretive ideologies. After analyzing two recent cases concerning New York University’s branch campus in Abu Dhabi and the new Yale-NUS College in Singapore using an organizational culture framework, they suggest that the creation of international branch campuses should be guided by three primary considerations such as (1) the value added by the creation of a branch campus; (2) how the branch campus is reflective of the unique culture of the home campus; and (3) whether faculty members on branch campuses have the same rights, institutional status, and expectations of shared governance that they would have on the home campus. While the text acknowledges that some conflicts are inevitable, the authors suggest that international branch campuses have the potential to foster awareness, enrichment, and understanding with a deeper investigation of these cultural dimensions.


Branch campus Globalization Higher education Organizational culture Rational choice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pullias Center for Higher EducationUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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