New Public Governance and New Public Management in the Funding and Contractual Steering of the Finnish Higher Education System
Kanniainen, Jari-Pekka (2017)
Korkeakouluhallinnon ja -johtamisen maisteriohjelma - Master's Degree Programme in Higher Education Administration and Management
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The topic of the research is the institutional governance logics of the funding and contractual steering of the Finnish higher education system. Higher education reforms in Finland and internationally have in the past decades favored market-orientation and performance measurement. More perspectives to study governance are needed. The research question guides to look for an assumed on-going shift between the recent theorized governance models of New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance (NPG), which act as the theoretical framework. This research delves into the institutional logics behind decision making and outspoken political goals. Major concepts are governance, steering, institutional logic, practical reasoning, and agency. The steering activities are made according to institutional governance logics. Institutions are continuously constructed and upheld through the discursive behaviour of the actors, and agency is understood as the actors' possibilities to affect the practical reasoning and the institutional logic of the institutional system. The contents of the selected policy documents regarding the funding and contractual steering are used as the data, and the analysis is based on a categorization of the practical reasoning and the theoretical framework. The findings from the data and the analysis reveal a variety of logical elements. The logical elements of NPM are in a dominant role in most parts of the funding model, and a shift to a stronger grip of NPM is seen. The elements of NPG are emphasized in parts related to measuring research and other publications, evaluating the societal influence of HEIs, and in the reasoning of the contractual steering. The research design proved to be sufficient and appropriate for a detailed analysis of higher education governance and is recommended for the following research in the same area.
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