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Shifting logics: limitations on the journey from ‘state’ to ‘market’ logic in UK higher education

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth Alexander



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alexander EA, Phillips W, Kapletia D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Policy & Politics

Year: 2018

Volume: 46

Issue: 4

Pages: 551-569

Print publication date: 01/10/2018

Online publication date: 15/09/2017

Acceptance date: 15/08/2017

Date deposited: 13/10/2017

ISSN (print): 0305-5736

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8442

Publisher: Policy Press


DOI: 10.1332/030557317X15052077338233


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