Online from: 2005
Subject Area: International Business
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|Title:||Becoming “world-class”? Reputation-building in a university merger|
|Author(s):||Hanna-Mari Aula, (School of Economics, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland), Janne Tienari, (School of Economics, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland)|
|Citation:||Hanna-Mari Aula, Janne Tienari, (2011) "Becoming “world-class”? Reputation-building in a university merger", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.7 - 29|
|Keywords:||Acquisitions and mergers, Finland, Universities|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17422041111103813 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This study of a university merger seeks to shed new light on reputation-building, which has remained unexplored in the mergers and acquisitions (M&As) literature. It aims to study how key actors seek to build the reputation of the new university and how issues related to reputation become (re)constructed in different forums and
Design/methodology/approach – The paper offers a longitudinal critical discourse analysis of a merger of three universities in Finland. The qualitative empirical material comprises university communications materials and media texts.
Findings – The study illustrates dynamics of reputation-building in a university merger. It shows how the need to become an innovative “world-class” university acts as an imaginary incentive, and predictions of an inevitable future are used to legitimize radical actions. The study also highlights the contradictions and controversies involved.
Originality/value – The study complements extant M&As literature by offering a unique focus on reputation-building. More broadly, it offers an empirically-based critical analysis of university reform in the global economy. It suggests that the ways in which reputation-building activities impact on the (dis-)identification of academic staff in higher education reforms needs to be studied further.
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