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Top-down management : an effective tool in higher education ?

Beverton, S. L. and Tsai, Y. (2007) 'Top-down management : an effective tool in higher education ?', International journal of educational management., 21 (1). pp. 6-16.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the strengths and weaknesses of top-down management in a university that has embraced globalisation with a strong market-led ethos and to suggest the ways in which adjustments might be made to top-down management processes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of top-down management by drawing upon relevant literature and further explores its related problems through a case study of a department in the universities of one country. Findings – Several studies have concluded that top-down management through its exercise of direct power is still a preferable means of reducing the chaos resulting from teachers caught up in de-stabilising and confusing change processes. In the current globalisation context, it is also concluded that the success of top-down management is predicated upon a willingness or readiness of the faculty to allow it to exist. Research limitations/implications – Although this paper explores the strengths and weaknesses simply through literature, it provides a case study to understand the problems with top-down management in higher education. The case study illustrates some of the issues that may or may not be proved by ensuing or larger-scale research to be generalisable, but for the specifics of this case the issues discussed would appear to be important. Originality/value – This paper recognizes the importance of top-down management to higher education in the global society and sheds light on how to make top-down management more efficient in higher education.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Decentralized control, Managerialism.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:07 Jul 2008
Last Modified:04 Aug 2010 16:12

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