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Resilient Universities

Confronting Changes in a Challenging World

Edited By Jan Erik Karlsen and Rosalind Pritchard

Resilience is ostensibly acknowledged as a cross-disciplinary issue, yet resilience analysis has seldom been applied to the understanding of universities and the academic world. The contributions to this volume aim to fill this gap through the presentation of both theoretical and empirical studies.
The book’s title reflects the desire to extend the debate in new directions and to assemble a fresh set of models and tools for thinking about resilient universities. Bringing together a range of experts in the field, this collection marks a novel departure within the social sciences and is intended to act as a first step towards establishing a holistic approach to future university governance and adaptation.
Today’s European universities are confronted by profound changes. This book constitutes an accessibly written, polemical and bold exploration of how current crises facing higher education institutions could be more effectively addressed by institutional resilience and new forms of adaptive, future oriented governance.


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Stig A. Selmer-Anderssen Robustness in Organized Anarchies


Stig A. Selmer-Anderssen 6 Robustness in Organized Anarchies: Ef ficient Composting in the Organizational Garbage Cans? A Classical Model Challenged by the Present Environment Any form of contemplation, from the most leisurely to the deepest, requires use of numerous models. Organizational models are intended to provide general guidance and suggestions about how one might proceed when working. In this chapter, one of the most famed of all such constructs, the Garbage Can Model of decision making, will be explored in the context of multi authority organizations. Its robustness is assessed by examining how it relates to resilience and how it produces decisions under varying circumstances, especially with regard to organizational resilience in uni- versities and other organizations with similar characteristics. Today, universities find themselves residing in complex, turbulent exogenous environments (de Zilva, 2010). While it can be argued that the fundamental organizational form of the universities is unchanged, it is still the case that ‘the actual organizational patterns of university governance have changed over the past few decades away from the classical notion of the university as a republic of scholars towards the idea of the university as a stakeholder organization’ (Bleiklie and Kogan, 2007: 477), and it is between those two broad sets of university governance conventions that ‘organizational and decision-making structures within universities are justi- fied’ (ibid.). This chapter proposes that a remake of the Garbage Can Model that includes multiple authorities may be useful in today’s higher education institutions, as it makes more visible not only the...

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