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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mergers in South African higher education: theorising change in transitional contexts
Author:Jansen, JonathanISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:educational management
higher education
Abstract:Drawing on a study of five recent merger cases in South African higher education, this article examines why in each case, the mergers proceeded despite intense opposition from the entities affected and in a form and manner different from that envisaged by their State designers. It considers the inadequacies of existing merger theories to explain these two factors and draws on contingency theory to show how the merger outcomes were the product of a complex interplay between governmental macropolitics and institutional micropolitics in a context of political transition. It then discusses the outcome of the mergers in terms of equity effects, efficiency effects, curriculum effects, organizational effects, student effects, staffing effects, and physical effects. Finally, it exposes the assumption that policy implementation is a rational process in which institutional practice mirrors the formal intentions of government planners, arguing that the merger process in South Africa has to date been marked by behaviour and action that has been both irrational and incoherent, as well as not necessarily in the interests of the higher educational process. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]