Shifting logics: limitations on the journey from ‘state’ to ‘market’ logic in UK higher education
Our study of UK higher education institutions (HEIs) offers insights into the role of institutional logics in the adoption of organisational practices – specifically outsourcing. We identify two logics prevalent within HEIs: a public service ‘state logic’ and a ‘market logic’. While adherence to the market logic supports commercial-based practices such as outsourcing, organisations enact competing logics in complex ways. Outsourcing is mainly limited to peripheral activities segmented from the core while a nascent cooperative solution is emerging as HEIs co-opt practices and discourse of outsourcing to justify hybrid relationships that marry competing logics in a process of selective coupling.
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