The Impact of University Academic Culture and Leadership on the Symptoms of “Global Ranking Fever”: The Case of One Russian University in a Particular Institutional Context
The impact of university academic culture and leadership on the symptoms of "global ranking fever": the case of one Russian university in particular institutional context Ivan Pavlyutkin and Maria Yudkevich National Research University Higher School of Economics In this paper we discuss how institutional culture of academic system affects the response of university to global rankings pressure. Rankings as strong public measures determine the process of organizational change on the university level. At the same time nature and the degree of change depends on whether university is driven by market-based or state-based logic of accountability. It has been shown that rankings got their power in a competitive environment when they represent students’ choice, reputation scores, and donation rates. External market pressure enforces universities to deal with rankings on the organizational level. Very few attempts were made to investigate the university response to rankings in a state dominated academic system. How does the university with a ‘blunted feeling of competition’ organize changes in order to enter the world-class league? To address this issue we conducted a case study of one Russian university which has recently entered the race for global academic excellence. We emphasize the significant role of academic culture and leadership as driving forces for a radical internal change on the one side and for copying with the symptoms of “global ranking fever” on the other.