Higher Education

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 43–70

Internationalization of universities: A university culture-based framework

  • Marvin Bartell


This paper employs Sporn's(1996) organizational culture typology indeveloping a framework to assist in theunderstanding of the process ofinternationalization of universities. Both thecollegial process and executive authority areacknowledged as necessary to position theuniversity to bring about substantive,integrated, university-wideinternationalization in response to pervasiveand rapidly changing global environmentaldemands. Internationalization, viewed as anorganizational adaptation, requires itsarticulation by the leadership whilesimultaneously institutionalizing a strategicplanning process that is representative andparticipative in that it recognizes andutilizes the power of the culture within whichit occurs. The orientation and strength of theuniversity culture and the functioningstructure can be inhibiting or facilitating ofthe strategies employed to advanceinternationalization. Two examples arejuxtaposed to illustrate the range ofcircumstances confronting universities in acomplex and dynamic external environment andtheir responses with respect tointernationalization. Drawing from theseexamples, discussion centers on the alignmentof internal culture with theinternationalization objectives and strategiesselected by the institution in order to enhanceeffectiveness of outcomes. It is concludedthat the framework provided helps to understandthe different approaches tointernationalization and may be helpful fromboth a managerial and research perspective.

understanding process of internationalization of universities university culture framework and illustrative examples 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Bartell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Administration, Asper School of BusinessUniversity of Manitoba, WinnipegManitobaCanada. E-mail

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