, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 493–510 | Cite as

Transforming Universities: National Conditions of Their Varied Organisational Actorhood



Despite major changes in the governance of universities overtly intended to transform them into authoritatively integrated collectivities, the extent of their organisational actorhood remains quite limited and varied between OECD countries. This is because of inherent limitations to the managerial direction and control of research and teaching activities in public science systems as well as considerable variations in how governance changes are being implemented in different kinds of states. Four ideal types of university can be distinguished in terms of their strategic and operational autonomy and capability: Hollow, State-contracted, State-chartered and Private-portfolio. These become established under different proximate and background conditions such that relatively high levels of organisational actorhood are unlikely to be achieved in many OECD countries without major shifts in state structures and policies.


Universities Governance changes Organisational actorhood State administrative styles Elite labour markets 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Business SchoolUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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