Transforming management education: A Polish mixture

University dissertation from Lund University Press, P.O. Box 141, S-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The purposes of this thesis are to provide a credible picture of the institutional transformation that I allege is taking place in the field of management education in Poland and to widen the field of application of institutional theory by applying it to the field of management education in Poland. In the study I conceptualise management education as an organisation field. The theoretical framework is based on institutionalism in sociology and organisational analysis. This framework has been modified by introducing some new concepts. In this way the theoretical framework was partly grounded in the field material. The major part of the field material was gathered in two organisations and the main techniques used were interviews and analyses of written documents. One basic assumption is that institutional transformation is taking place in the field of management education in Poland, and the forms most relevant for the field are deinstitutionalisation and reinstitutionalisation. I argue that two important aspects of this transformation process are those of continuity and rupture, indicated by innovations as well as sediments from an old institutional order. Another main point is that the changes that are occurring in the field of management in Poland are ideas that are travelling between various contexts, and that those ideas have to be related to existing institutions in order to become accepted. This process is described by employing the notion of translation. One way of translating changes is by imitation and there are several examples of this kind of process in the field. Furthermore, I claim that there is another side of the imitation process that could be described by using the concept of occupation. One main argument of this thesis is that changes have taken place in the field of management education in Poland, but that the implications of those changes are far from clear. The transformation could instead be regarded as a mixture of several different ingredients, i.e. the old is in various ways mixed with the new. Another main point is that the concepts I have introduced are useful when applying institutionalism to a field that is characterised not only by changes within a certain order but also by a questioning of and transformation of, the entire order itself. I also show that it is possible to conceptualise the field of management education in Poland in several different ways.

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