From Voluntary Collective Action to Organized Collaboration? The Provision of Public Goods in Pluralistic Organizations

Fabian Hattke, Steffen Blaschke, Jetta Frost

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    Our study examines the relationship between voluntary collective action, organized collaboration, and the provision of public goods in pluralistic organizations. Using German higher education as a context, we investigate whether specialized central support structures contribute to performance in three fields of action: the training of young scientists, internationalization, and gender diversity. The findings indicate that organized collaboration may lead to improved performance in the training of young scientists and gender diversity. Conversely, voluntary collective action enhances internationalization. Based on our results, we suggest that, depending on the field of action, voluntary collective action and organized collaboration are substitutes with regard to performance. Our study contributes to the literature on collective action and to research on public organizations in pluralistic institutional environments. It also informs higher education research and policy on the effectiveness of new organizational designs based on centralized and specialized support structures at universities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMulti-Level Governance in Universities : Strategy, Structure, Control
    EditorsJetta Frost, Fabian Hattke, Markus Reihlen
    Number of pages26
    Place of PublicationCham
    PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)9783319326764
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319326788
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    SeriesHigher Education Dynamics


    • Centralization
    • Specialization
    • Higher education
    • University commons
    • Postgraduate education
    • Internationalization
    • Gender diversity

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