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Understanding University Organizational Culture

The Croatian Example


Vesna Kovac, Jasminka Ledic and Branko Rafajac

The book is inspired by impending changes of Croatian universities in the context of the globalization process, that is an effort to get into the European higher education area. The authors analyze the notion of university organizational culture, identifying it as a phenomenon that – due to its exceptional power of regulation and control – acts as a key variable for the adaptation of universities to current demands of the external setting. The organizational culture of a university can be identified, evaluated, and interpreted, but what is more important, it can be modified and changed in the desired direction. The typology of organizational culture follows mostly the typology of university governance or leadership, which very well demonstrates the interconnection between the observed phenomena. Authors present and interpret the results of an empirical survey that was carried out on a sample of 476 university professors from all Croatian universities. The conclusion provides propositions for universities to develop desirable characteristics of university organizational culture, indicating a number of concrete changes so that the current organizational culture can cope with the present-day situation.
Contents: Croatian universities in the national and global context – A brief introduction to the Croatian higher education – University organizational culture: definitions, typologies and influences – University as learning organization – Empirical evidence assessment of governance in higher education: decision-making, obstacles against good governance practice, Leadership efficiency, governance practice satisfaction – Are Croatian universities learning organizations? – Recommendations for outlining the University as learning organization.