Discipline as Institutional Maintenance: The Case of Business School Rankings

Andreas Rasche, Ulrich Hommel, Eric Cornuel

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Drawing on the case of business school rankings, we study how institutions are
    maintained and remain persistent despite their contested nature. We argue that rankings as institutions can be maintained through subtle disciplinary practices that freeze power relations in recipient organizations. Our analysis rests on a Foucauldian understanding of control emphasizing that rankings discipline (1) by enhancing the visibility of individuals’ performance, (2) by defining ‘normal’ behavior, and (3) by shaping how people understand themselves and the world around them. We show that these three disciplining effects support rankings’ durability, reproducibility, and communicability enhancing their overall stability and diffusion. Our arguments demonstrate that rankings’ relevance and impact is not entirely based on the legitimacy they are able to offer to ranked schools. Rather rankings impel a variety of disciplinary effects within business schools which help to stabilize and diffuse the institution.
    Drawing on the case of business school rankings, we study how institutions are
    maintained and remain persistent despite their contested nature. We argue that rankings as institutions can be maintained through subtle disciplinary practices that freeze power relations in recipient organizations. Our analysis rests on a Foucauldian understanding of control emphasizing that rankings discipline (1) by enhancing the visibility of individuals’ performance, (2) by defining ‘normal’ behavior, and (3) by shaping how people understand themselves and the world around them. We show that these three disciplining effects support rankings’ durability, reproducibility, and communicability enhancing their overall stability and diffusion. Our arguments demonstrate that rankings’ relevance and impact is not entirely based on the legitimacy they are able to offer to ranked schools. Rather rankings impel a variety of disciplinary effects within business schools which help to stabilize and diffuse the institution.

    Conference

    ConferenceEFMD Higher Education Research Conference
    LocationThe Lorange Institute of Business
    CountrySwitzerland
    CityZurich
    Period14/02/201215/02/2012
    Internet address

    Keywords

      Cite this

      Rasche, A., Hommel, U., & Cornuel, E. (2012). Discipline as Institutional Maintenance: The Case of Business School Rankings. Abstract from EFMD Higher Education Research Conference, Zurich, Switzerland.
      Rasche, Andreas ; Hommel, Ulrich ; Cornuel, Eric. / Discipline as Institutional Maintenance : The Case of Business School Rankings. Abstract from EFMD Higher Education Research Conference, Zurich, Switzerland.35 p.
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      abstract = "Drawing on the case of business school rankings, we study how institutions aremaintained and remain persistent despite their contested nature. We argue that rankings as institutions can be maintained through subtle disciplinary practices that freeze power relations in recipient organizations. Our analysis rests on a Foucauldian understanding of control emphasizing that rankings discipline (1) by enhancing the visibility of individuals’ performance, (2) by defining ‘normal’ behavior, and (3) by shaping how people understand themselves and the world around them. We show that these three disciplining effects support rankings’ durability, reproducibility, and communicability enhancing their overall stability and diffusion. Our arguments demonstrate that rankings’ relevance and impact is not entirely based on the legitimacy they are able to offer to ranked schools. Rather rankings impel a variety of disciplinary effects within business schools which help to stabilize and diffuse the institution.",
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      author = "Andreas Rasche and Ulrich Hommel and Eric Cornuel",
      year = "2012",
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      Rasche, A, Hommel, U & Cornuel, E 2012, 'Discipline as Institutional Maintenance: The Case of Business School Rankings', Zurich, Switzerland, 14/02/2012 - 15/02/2012, .

      Discipline as Institutional Maintenance : The Case of Business School Rankings. / Rasche, Andreas; Hommel, Ulrich; Cornuel, Eric.

      2012. Abstract from EFMD Higher Education Research Conference, Zurich, Switzerland.

      Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

      TY - ABST

      T1 - Discipline as Institutional Maintenance

      T2 - The Case of Business School Rankings

      AU - Rasche,Andreas

      AU - Hommel,Ulrich

      AU - Cornuel,Eric

      PY - 2012

      Y1 - 2012

      N2 - Drawing on the case of business school rankings, we study how institutions aremaintained and remain persistent despite their contested nature. We argue that rankings as institutions can be maintained through subtle disciplinary practices that freeze power relations in recipient organizations. Our analysis rests on a Foucauldian understanding of control emphasizing that rankings discipline (1) by enhancing the visibility of individuals’ performance, (2) by defining ‘normal’ behavior, and (3) by shaping how people understand themselves and the world around them. We show that these three disciplining effects support rankings’ durability, reproducibility, and communicability enhancing their overall stability and diffusion. Our arguments demonstrate that rankings’ relevance and impact is not entirely based on the legitimacy they are able to offer to ranked schools. Rather rankings impel a variety of disciplinary effects within business schools which help to stabilize and diffuse the institution.

      AB - Drawing on the case of business school rankings, we study how institutions aremaintained and remain persistent despite their contested nature. We argue that rankings as institutions can be maintained through subtle disciplinary practices that freeze power relations in recipient organizations. Our analysis rests on a Foucauldian understanding of control emphasizing that rankings discipline (1) by enhancing the visibility of individuals’ performance, (2) by defining ‘normal’ behavior, and (3) by shaping how people understand themselves and the world around them. We show that these three disciplining effects support rankings’ durability, reproducibility, and communicability enhancing their overall stability and diffusion. Our arguments demonstrate that rankings’ relevance and impact is not entirely based on the legitimacy they are able to offer to ranked schools. Rather rankings impel a variety of disciplinary effects within business schools which help to stabilize and diffuse the institution.

      KW - Business school rankings

      KW - Institutional maintenance

      KW - Disciplinary control

      KW - Organizational field

      M3 - Conference abstract for conference

      ER -

      Rasche A, Hommel U, Cornuel E. Discipline as Institutional Maintenance: The Case of Business School Rankings. 2012. Abstract from EFMD Higher Education Research Conference, Zurich, Switzerland.