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Inter-university Networks: Rhetorics vs. Reality. Objectives and Activities of Members of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities

Fastner, M.C. (2016) Inter-university Networks: Rhetorics vs. Reality. Objectives and Activities of Members of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities.

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Abstract:This study seeks to understand to what extent the activities higher education institutions perform within the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) actually match their objectives towards the ECIU. Adopting a multiple-case study design including five European member institutions of the ECIU, the study builds on the resource dependence theory. The goal of the study is to test the theory’s expectation that the case study institution’s objectives towards the ECIU and the activities which they perform within the network are aligned with each other. The empirical evidence includes primary data collected mainly through semi-structured interviews. The study finds that the case study institutions actually pursue great parts of their objectives towards the inter-university network. But, at the same time, they also perform many other activities within the ECIU which do not contribute to their objectives. The case study institutions do not strategically arrange all their network activities as purposeful actions targeted solely at the achievement of the objectives they stated to guide their participation in the ECIU. A substantial number of the case study universities’ objectives towards the ECIU and their activities within the ECIU were found to be misaligned with each other. Consequently, the resource dependence theory cannot be confirmed. The thesis discusses factors which might keep institutions from using their inter-university networks for their objectives. It also argues that performing activities which are not aligned with the institution’s objectives can points to an additional value of the network. Finally, the study discusses its limitations and gives recommendations for further research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 81 education, teaching, 88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/69413
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