Technical Identity in a MergerProcess : Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Vellamo, T., Pekkola, E., Siekkinen, T., & Cai, Y. (2020). Technical Identity in a MergerProcess : Between a Rock and a Hard Place. In L. Geschwind, A. Broström, & K. Larsen (Eds.), Technical Universities : Past, Present and Future (pp. 165-190). Springer. Higher Education Dynamics, 56. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50555-4_9
Published inHigher Education Dynamics
© The Author(s) 2020
University mergers are sites of self-reflection where the identities of the institutions in question are juxtaposed and challenged. We examine the organisational identity of a Finnish single-faculty technical university in the context of a merger process with a comprehensive multi-disciplinary university and a university of applied sciences. Through interview data, we shed light on the self-conception of the technical university compared with the other higher education institutions. According to our analysis, the identity of the technical university is constructed and represented in relation to the aspects of society and entrepreneurialism, academic discipline and, particularly, the technical disciplines, engineering identity and organisational form and function. These aspects are compared with the aspects associated with the two other institutions involved in the merger. The self-representation of the technical university depends on whether it is compared with the research-oriented comprehensive university or with the practically oriented university of applied sciences. Although there are shared aspects of organisational identity, the identity of the technical university seems unique, and neither of the other institutions have a similar identity or offer the possibility of shared identity formation. ...
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