It is commonplace today to decry the century-long damage done to institutions of higher learning by applying “the standard business model” to their ongoing administration. Most accept that the familiar corporate values of hierarchy and control, efficiency, standardization, and obedience are anathema to the creation of new knowledge and, therefore, to the core mission of the university. Few dispute this. But what is often overlooked is just how bad this model also has been for business. It is destructive of the very creativity that is central to both good business practice and higher learning. Yet, it is this limiting view of business that has come to define how institutions of higher learning are too frequently administered. Why? How did this happen? How did the “wrong” lessons of business get learned and imprinted onto university administration? The purpose of this paper is to place this “fundamental attribution error” into its social and historical context and to examine how this state of affairs came about in the first place; and what might yet be done to integrate a more creative view of business into the actual logic and practice of higher education administration.
|Keywords:||Management History, University Administration, Emergence, Higher- Learning, Governance|
Associate Professor of Management, Department of Management, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Professor of Management, Department of Management, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
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