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Mergers in South African higher education: theorising change in transitional contexts

Jansen, Jonathan

Abstract:
Drawing on a study of five merger cases in recent 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 too, 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 macro-politics and institutional micro- politics in a context of political transition. It also 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 behaviour and action that has been both irrational and incoherent as well as not necessarily in the interests of the higher educational process.

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Document Title: Mergers in South African higher education: theorising change in transitional contexts


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Mergers, South Africa, Micropolitics, Government, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, University of South Africa UNISA, Curriculum Changes, Policy Implementation, Theory, Transition


File Size:155 KB
Date Added:02 February 2007


Jansen, Jonathan (2003). Mergers in South African higher education: theorising change in transitional contexts, Politikon 30 ( 1 ): 27-50