Universities as Agencies

Reputation and Professionalization

  • Tom Christensen
  • Åse Gornitzka
  • Francisco O. Ramirez

Part of the Public Sector Organizations book series (PSO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Tom Christensen, Åse Gornitzka, Francisco O. Ramirez
      Pages 3-39
  3. Reputation Management

  4. Social Embeddedness and Organizational Differentiation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-183
    2. Naejin Kwak, S. Gabriela Gavrila, Francisco O. Ramirez
      Pages 209-228
    3. Jared Furuta, Francisco O. Ramirez
      Pages 229-247
  5. Concluding Reflections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 249-249
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 271-278

About this book


This book discusses how modern universities increasingly use reputation management in relation to internal and external challenges. Universities are increasingly characterized by social embeddedness, relating to many external stakeholders and international markets of students, researchers and research projects. This implies global pressure to standardize, formalize and rationalize their internal organization. The book uses data from China, Norway and US to show how reputation symbols are used and balanced, based on their web pages. Further, it uses extensive data from US universities to show how their internal organization structure is developing over time, related to three types of units/positions - development, diversity and legal offices and roles.

Tom Christensen is Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Department of Political Science, University of Oslo.

Åse Gornitzka is Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Department of Political Science, University of Oslo.

Francisco O. Ramirez is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology, Stanford University.


universities formalization rationalization reputation management social embeddedness comparative analysis core symbols nordic universities reputation management academic league tables elite universities insitutional diversity organizational actor professionalization socially-embedded universities Chinese universities convergence divergence reputation management profiles cultural and symbolic explanations

Editors and affiliations

  • Tom Christensen
    • 1
  • Åse Gornitzka
    • 2
  • Francisco O. Ramirez
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Stanford Graduate School of EducationStanfordUSA

Bibliographic information