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Students as consumers? An institutional field‐level analysis of the construction of performance measurement practices

Students as consumers? An institutional field‐level analysis of the construction of performance... Purpose – To examine the political and institutional processes surrounding the construction of consumer‐orientated performance measurement (PM) practices in the Swedish university sector. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal case study in the Swedish university sector drawing on neo‐institutional sociology (NIS) and adopting an organisational field‐level perspective. Findings – Particular attention is paid to the political interplay between different actors competing to dominate the representation of student interests in this organisational field, the strategic discourses invoked to legitimise their actions and the unfolding (re‐)construction of PM practices, but also how this interplay is conditioned by institutionalised structures and existing power relationships. The findings suggest that the relative inertia in developing more consumer‐orientated PM is due in large part to the difficulties for an emerging challenger in constructing a legitimate power base enabling it to fully exploit institutional inconsistencies and the ability of a dominant incumbent organisation to accommodate seemingly incompatible institutional pressures. Originality/value – The study provides deeper and more process‐orientated insights into the problems of translating consumerist notions into public sector PM practices than much prior research on the topic and explains this with reference to macro‐ rather than micro‐level (intra‐organisational) processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

Students as consumers? An institutional field‐level analysis of the construction of performance measurement practices

Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal , Volume 18 (4): 27 – Aug 1, 2005

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References (106)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/09513570510609351
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To examine the political and institutional processes surrounding the construction of consumer‐orientated performance measurement (PM) practices in the Swedish university sector. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal case study in the Swedish university sector drawing on neo‐institutional sociology (NIS) and adopting an organisational field‐level perspective. Findings – Particular attention is paid to the political interplay between different actors competing to dominate the representation of student interests in this organisational field, the strategic discourses invoked to legitimise their actions and the unfolding (re‐)construction of PM practices, but also how this interplay is conditioned by institutionalised structures and existing power relationships. The findings suggest that the relative inertia in developing more consumer‐orientated PM is due in large part to the difficulties for an emerging challenger in constructing a legitimate power base enabling it to fully exploit institutional inconsistencies and the ability of a dominant incumbent organisation to accommodate seemingly incompatible institutional pressures. Originality/value – The study provides deeper and more process‐orientated insights into the problems of translating consumerist notions into public sector PM practices than much prior research on the topic and explains this with reference to macro‐ rather than micro‐level (intra‐organisational) processes.

Journal

Accounting Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 2005

Keywords: Consumerism; Students; Performance measures; Public sector reform; Universities; Sweden

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