A Game-Theoretic Explanation of the Administrative Lattice in Institutions of Higher Learning
Posted: 11 Jan 2001
We provide a game-theoretic model of academic organizations, focusing on the strategic interaction of prototypical overseers, administrators, and professors. By identifying key principal-agent games routinely played in colleges and universities, we begin to unpack the black box typically used to conceptualize these institutions. Our approach suggests an explanation for the seemingly inevitable drift of institutions of higher education into such well-documented phenomena as academic ratchet and administrative lattice and builds an understanding of the organizational conditions in which drift would be restrained.
Keywords: Principal-agent games; Organizational behavior of nonprofits in higher education; Administrative lattice; Academic ratchet.
JEL Classification: C72, D23, D82, I21
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