Self-image and Missions of Universities: An Empirical Analysis of Japanese University Executives
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 22 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
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As universities in Japan gain institutional autonomy in managing internal organizations, independent of governmental control as a result of deregulation and decentralizing reforms, it is becoming increasingly important that the executives and administrators of each institution demonstrate clear and strategic vision and ideas
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As universities in Japan gain institutional autonomy in managing internal organizations, independent of governmental control as a result of deregulation and decentralizing reforms, it is becoming increasingly important that the executives and administrators of each institution demonstrate clear and strategic vision and ideas to external stakeholders, in order to maintain financially robust operations and attractiveness of their institutions. This paper considers whether and how the self-image, mission, and vision of universities are perceived and internalized by the management of Japanese universities and empirically examines the determinants of shaping such individual perceptions. The result of our descriptive analysis indicates that the recent government policy to internationalize domestic universities has not shown much progress in the view of university executives in Japan. An increasing emphasis on the roles of serving local needs in research and teaching is rather pursued by these universities. Individual perceptions among Japanese university executives with regard to the missions and functional roles to be played by their institutions are influenced by managerial rank as well as the field of their academic training. A multiple regression analysis reveals that the economy of scale brought out by an expanded undergraduate student enrollment gradually slows down and decelerate executive perceptions, with regard to establishing a globally recognized status in research and teaching. Moreover, Japanese universities with a small proportion of graduate student enrollment, likely opted out from competitions for gaining a greater respect in the global community of higher education between 2005 and 2012. Finally, the management in universities granted with the same amount of external research funds in both studied years responded more passively in 2012 than did in 2005 on the self-assessment of whether having established a status as a global knowledge base.