Organisational institutionalism in higher education research

Yohannes Mehari, Yuzhuo Cai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper is set to examine how the wisdoms of institutional theory have been utilised in higher education research, and how the higher education studies may support the development of organisational institutionalism. The bases for this paper are some selected prestigious higher education journals, which either primarily or secondarily used institutional perspectives in their analyses of higher education issues. The authors of this paper analysed 69 articles and critically investigated the use of institutional theory in higher education studies. Results show that most of the higher education studies applying institutional theory are based on new institutional theory where the central concepts are organisational fields, isomorphism, and institutionalisation. However, it is also found that other strands of intuitional theory such as institutional entrepreneurship, institutional work and logics have not been fully exploited. Moreover, results found on the majority of the selected articles reveal that they use more empirical qualitative approach than quantitative method when they deal with institutional element, such as aspects of institutional environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th CHER Annual Conference: The Roles of Higher Education and Research in the Fabric of Societies
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event26th CHER Annual Conference: The Roles of Higher Education and Research in the Fabric of Societies - Observatory Science, Policy and Society Social Sciences Institute, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 9 Sept 201311 Sept 2013
Conference number: 26


Conference26th CHER Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleCHER
Internet address


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