The role of institutional dual embeddedness in the strategic local adaptation of international branch campuses: evidence from Malaysia and Singapore

Farshid Shams, Jeroen Huisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Past research revealed that International Branch Campuses (IBCs) are simultaneously under two types of isomorphic pressures. On the one hand, they are obliged to conform to the institutions of their host countries, which lead them towards homogenising with the local Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), hence deviate from their parent unit's model. On the other hand, they are required to maintain their parent unit's identity across borders. By adapting to the local context, IBCs gain legitimacy in their local milieus and thus reduce tensions with local stakeholders. By maintaining similarity with their parents, they differentiate from the local competitors and therefore better compete in the market place. This paper addresses the duality (between adherence to the parent's and local expectations) by studying six important Australian and British IBCs in two major higher education (HE) hubs in South East Asia. We identify the determinants of the IBCs' strategic choices and their responses to institutional pressures. The analysis suggests that IBCs have maintained a high level of similarity with their parent units in terms of curriculum, but not so much in terms of staffing. We argue that staffing will continue to be the biggest strategic challenge faced by IBCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-970
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume41
Issue number6
Early online date9 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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