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Going Global: Rankings as rhetorical devices to construct an international field of management education
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2011 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 42, no 2, 199-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysing the introduction of international rankings in the field of management education, this paper aims to understand how and why rankings have proliferated and institutionalized in the field, and with what effects. Building on an emerging stream in institutional theory, I propose that the rankings function as rhetorical devices to construct legitimacy within the field, which actors use to attempt to shape and reform the field as it develops. Rhetorical devices shape meaning, as they are used to justify practices and procedures and shape the means of comparison and assessment. Particularly, I show how the rankings are used by European business schools to attempt to alter perceptions of the field and their own positions within it. As such, rankings take part in the construction of the international field of management education. The result of these processes is also, however, a preservation of status and the principles whereby status is formed in the field. I discuss the implications of these findings for understanding rankings and for institutional theories of fields.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 42, no 2, 199-218 p.
Keyword [en]
business schools, field, habitus, institutional work, management education, rankings, rhetorical device
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132257DOI: 10.1177/1350507610389683ISI: 000289673900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132257DiVA: diva2:357335
Available from: 2010-10-18 Created: 2010-10-18 Last updated: 2011-05-16Bibliographically approved

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