Governance, insecurity and changing university administration


  • Signe Jernberg University of Gävle, Uppsala University
  • Linda Wedlin Uppsala University


Higher Education, Universities, Administration, Bureaucracy


Combining these insights, we aim to further nuance the view of recent changes in university administration, and where it comes from. In this paper we seek to explore the changing character and form of university administration in relation to these developments, by relating the changes to different functions it serves in mediating pressures both from inside and outside the university. We depart from an institutional model to understand the changing administration from the perspective of both increasing governance and management needs, and from the demands to satisfy interests coming in large part from outside the organization. Our research question is as follows: - How is administration changing in different higher education organizations as responses to changing institutional pressure and how does it vary over time?
We explore this empirically with data from the Swedish university field in the years between 2005 and 2019. We track quantitatively the extent of changes to different university administration units and tasks, the timing of these changes, and its content/focus. We also explore these in more detail in four specific organizational settings, two old and large universities and two university colleges.





6.1 Academic Leadership