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Institutional change and the optimal size of universities

Schubert, Torben LU and Yang, Guoliang (2016) In Scientometrics 108(3). p.1129-1153
Abstract

The last years have been characterized by tremendous institutional change in the university sector induced by far-reaching Higher Education Reforms (e.g. Bologna). Building on loose-coupling theory, we hypothesize that smaller universities were better able to adapt to the Higher Education Reforms of the recent years, triggering a decline in the optimal size of universities in the reform period. Using a 12-year panel data set on the inputs and outputs of German universities, we find a tremendous decrease in optimal university size, which is driven by the decline in the optimal scale for the provision of teaching activities. Our results also suggest this drop is also due to fact that the relatively higher administrative overheads of... (More)

The last years have been characterized by tremendous institutional change in the university sector induced by far-reaching Higher Education Reforms (e.g. Bologna). Building on loose-coupling theory, we hypothesize that smaller universities were better able to adapt to the Higher Education Reforms of the recent years, triggering a decline in the optimal size of universities in the reform period. Using a 12-year panel data set on the inputs and outputs of German universities, we find a tremendous decrease in optimal university size, which is driven by the decline in the optimal scale for the provision of teaching activities. Our results also suggest this drop is also due to fact that the relatively higher administrative overheads of larger universities become an organizational liability in times of rapid institutional change.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Loosely-coupling, Most Productive Scale Size (MPSS), Optimal size, University
in
Scientometrics
volume
108
issue
3
pages
25 pages
publisher
Akademiai Kiado
external identifiers
  • scopus:84974824370
  • wos:000382914200008
ISSN
0138-9130
DOI
10.1007/s11192-016-2015-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5773c08b-be4d-455d-9016-c46fa35f117a
date added to LUP
2016-11-23 09:33:17
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:40:24
@article{5773c08b-be4d-455d-9016-c46fa35f117a,
  abstract     = {<p>The last years have been characterized by tremendous institutional change in the university sector induced by far-reaching Higher Education Reforms (e.g. Bologna). Building on loose-coupling theory, we hypothesize that smaller universities were better able to adapt to the Higher Education Reforms of the recent years, triggering a decline in the optimal size of universities in the reform period. Using a 12-year panel data set on the inputs and outputs of German universities, we find a tremendous decrease in optimal university size, which is driven by the decline in the optimal scale for the provision of teaching activities. Our results also suggest this drop is also due to fact that the relatively higher administrative overheads of larger universities become an organizational liability in times of rapid institutional change.</p>},
  author       = {Schubert, Torben and Yang, Guoliang},
  issn         = {0138-9130},
  keyword      = {Loosely-coupling,Most Productive Scale Size (MPSS),Optimal size,University},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {1129--1153},
  publisher    = {Akademiai Kiado},
  series       = {Scientometrics},
  title        = {Institutional change and the optimal size of universities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-2015-1},
  volume       = {108},
  year         = {2016},
}