Internationalisation and its Management at Higher-Education Institutions. Applying Conceptual, Content and Discourse Analysis

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2002-11-22
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Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
International Business
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271 s.
Acta Universitatis oeconomicae Helsingiensis. A, 206
This doctoral dissertation answers the following research questions: 1) What are the understandings of HEI internationalisation? 2) How does middle management of internationalisation of higher-education institutions understand the management of HEI internationalisation? The study was conducted in two phases. First, an objectivist research design was applied. A framework of internationalisation and its management was created and evaluated with the help of content analysis of the population of Finnish European Policy Statements; 44 EPSs were analysed. Second, as much data fell through the cracks of analysis, a social constructionist research design was chosen. A discourse analysis based on interviews of ten middle managers of internationalisation in Belgium and Finland and of five rectors from the same countries was conducted. The analysis was based on 42h and 50 minutes of interviews, i.e. 388 pages of transcribed tapes. The study makes several contributions. First, it contributes to the opening up a new scholarly research field in International Business, the managing of internationalisation of 1990s in the developing higher-education field. Higher education is becoming an industry; commercialisation of higher education is an important phenomenon especially in the Anglo-Saxon countries, whence it is spreading all over the world through e.g. OECD and GATS. These important empirical developments need to be further studied with IB research tools. Second, it argues that social constructionist thinking, which is still seldom applied, through the use of discourse analysis, can extend knowledge generation in IB. What we see, at least to a certain extent, depends on what we expect to see; with new types of research questions new knowledge can be created. Third, it creates new knowledge. A thorough concept analysis of HEI internationalisation, a holistic management model for HEI internationalisation, and a national level of understanding of the managing of HEI internationalisation were the contributions of the first phase of study. The second phase of study contributed by giving three detailed discourses on HEI internationalisation as well as three detailed discourses on managing of HEI internationalisation. These new views on internationalisation and its managing provide a point of departure for a wide range of further studies. These results can be also benefited from by both the middle and top managers of HEIs, and national and supranational educational authorities
Supervising professor
Luostarinen, Reijo, professor
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