Organizational Theory in Higher Education: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Organizational Theory in Higher Education

1st Edition

By Kathleen Manning


220 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415874670
pub: 2012-12-10
Hardback: 9780415874663
pub: 2012-12-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203836750
pub: 2013-03-05
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Organizational Theory in Higher Education offers a fresh take on the models and lenses through which higher education can be viewed by presenting a full range of organizational theories, from traditional to current. By alternating theory and practice chapters, noted scholar Kathleen Manning vividly illustrates the operations of higher education and its administration. Manning’s rich and interdisciplinary treatment enables leaders to gain a full understanding of the perspectives that operate on a college campus and ways to adopt effective practice in the context of  new and continuing tensions, contexts, and challenges.

Special features include: 

  • A unique presentation of each organizational model that includes both a theory chapter for contextual background and a case chapter illustrating the perspective in practice
  • Coverage of eight organizational approaches, both traditional as well as those often excluded from the literature—organized anarchy, collegium, political, cultural, bureaucratic, new science, feminist, and spiritual.
  • Consistent organizational elements across each theoretical chapter—including theoretical foundation, structure, metaphor, characteristics, and strengths and weaknesses—so that readers can better assess appropriate fit of theory to particular situations
  • Questions for Discussion and Recommended Readings assist the reader to make connections to their practice and to develop an in-depth understanding of the organizational theories

Organizational Theory in Higher Education provides a clear understanding of how organizational models can be used to elicit the most effective practice and to navigate the complexity of higher education today. This important book is ideal for courses in higher education administration and organizational theory and for administrators and practitioners seeking to gain insight into innovative ways to approach organizations.


"This theory-rich volume is peppered with practical applications throughout, making it the tutorial that this generation of academic leaders, faculty, and graduate students need to understand and respond to routine and non-routine actions and events, on and off the campus."

George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, Indiana University

"This book is an excellent resource for courses in the administration and management of higher education. It is rich with theories and perspectives that reflect the administrative challenges of higher education in the 21st century, and the engagingly written case studies will help students and practitioners apply theoretical knowledge to problems of administration."

Estela Bensimon, Professor of Higher Education and Co-Director of the Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California

"In all honesty, I can say that this is a book I’ve been waiting for! Manning presents a variety of organizational theories in ways that will interest students and support good discussions in the graduate seminar I teach. I appreciate the breadth of the analysis as well as the way the text is organized. It is a much needed resource!"

Delores E. McNair., Assistant Professor, Higher Education Leadership, University of the Pacific

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Introduction and Context Setting

Chapter Two: Organized Anarchy

Chapter Three: Case: Missions, Garbage Cans, and Decision-Making

Chapter Four: Collegium

Chapter Five: Case: Collegiality and Disciplinary Loyalty in Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure

Chapter Six: Political

Chapter Seven: Case: Coalition Building by Boards of Trustees and the Women’s Faculty Caucus

Chapter Eight: Cultural

Chapter Nine: Case: Campus, Student, and Faculty in a Clash of Cultures

Chapter Ten: Bureaucracy

Chapter Eleven: Case: Executive Leadership and the Corporatization of Higher Education

Chapter Twelve: New Science

Chapter Thirteen: Case: Getting Ahead of the Disruption

Chapter Fourteen: Feminist

Chapter Fifteen: Case: A Clash of Collaborative and Competitive Leadership Styles

Sixteen: Spiritual

Seventeen: Case: Considering the Whole Person, Establishing a Family Leave Policy

Eighteen: Conclusion


About the Author

Kathleen Manning is Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program, Department of Leadership and Development Science, at the University of Vermont, USA.

About the Series

Core Concepts in Higher Education

Core Concepts in Higher Education is a textbook series for the education of new professionals, covering the core areas of study in the field of higher education and student affairs. This timely and dependable series provides the necessary tools to ensure practice is informed by theory and research. The books in this series invite students to think critically about the field to discover what has been left out and what needs to be learned, and also provides frameworks and constructs for addressing challenges facing higher education. The Core Concepts in Higher Education series moves thought, action, and scholarship forward by valuing, reconstructing, and building on the foundations of the field. Through a rich combination of research, theory, and practice, this series aims to move the field into a new generation of scholarship to better prepare students for authentic leadership of our colleges, universities, and academic communities.

Learn more…

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