Browsing by Subject "accreditation"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Peltola, Katja (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Higher education is seen to be a part of the global educational market nowadays. In order to stand out on this market, universities work for accreditations so that they can prove the level of their quality. Accreditations are preceded by long processes during which the university has to show that is meets all the requirements. There is quite a lot of research on accreditations as such but less on how they effect the internal power relations at a university. In this research, the aim was to study the effects of an accreditation process on internal power relations at a university. The theoretical starting point was Risto Heiskala's power theory which combines resource theories and structuralism and Hannu Simola's grid of the effects of a power mechanism. Simola's grid is based on Heiskala's theory. The aim was to analyse how accreditation processes present themselves a university from the power aspect and also how accreditation processes are talked about and how they are regarded. The material was collected at Svenska handelshögskolan (Hanken) where they were working towards an accreditation. The material consisted of 26 protocols and 6 interviews. All the interviewees worked in the university management. The analysis was based on Simola's grid and the material was analysed using critical discourse analysis. The results of this research show that a lot of power is used during accreditation processes. During these processes, many power relations seem to change, either momentarily or more permanently. At times, the use of power seems to be conscious while at times it seems to be more unconscious. The effects of power that is being used seem to cover all the four areas in Simola's grid, namely resources, position, identity and self-regulation. According to the results of this research, the effects seem to be more complicated than the grid suggests. In some research papers, accreditations have been mentioned as a new form of steering. According to the results of this research, this steering mechanism seems to cover the whole university and its staff and this is why there should be more research on the internal effects of the processes. The material in this research represented mainly the point of view of the management. In order to get a broader picture of the situation in future research, the material should cover also the research and teaching personal. In this research, the material was collected in a small university but it would be interesting to see whether the results apply also for a larger organisation.