Legitimacy in University Government: A New Typology

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We propose a typology of forms of legitimacy of authority in the university, based on the well-known classification by Max Weber of the forms of political authority based on the types to legitimacy typically invoked by those in a position of authority. This framework is adapted and expanded to the field of university governance taking into consideration the specialized literature on models of governance in higher education, and with the aid of data obtained from interviews of former university leaders with whom we discussed their experiences as university officials. Our typology consists of six forms of legitimacy: traditional, which distinguishes two forms, academic and administrative; rational-bureaucratic, which also has two modalities, managerial and legalistic, and finally, the political and charismatic forms. To stress the differences across these types of legitimacy, and try out a possible translation of them into designs amenable to empirical research, we also present an operationalization of the typology into variables and hypotheses.


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How to Cite
Bernasconi, A., & Clasing, P. (2015). Legitimacy in University Government: A New Typology. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 71. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.2001
Author Biographies

Andres Bernasconi, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Associate Professor

Paula Clasing, Investigadora Asociada Centro de Estudios de Políticas y Prácticas en Educación CEPPE Facultad de Educación Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Paula Clasing es investigadora adjunta del Centro de Estudios de Políticas y Prácticas en Educación, CEPPE, de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Sus áreas de investigación son el gobierno universitario, las políticas en educación superior y el análisis institucional en instituciones de educación superior. Es Socióloga, Licenciada en Sociología por la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile y Máster en Metodologías de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Estadísticas por la Universidad de Manchester.