The impact of marketisation on higher education in post-Mao China, with case studies of universities in Yunnan Province

Wang, Zhi Hui (2008). The impact of marketisation on higher education in post-Mao China, with case studies of universities in Yunnan Province. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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An important component of the New Public Management, which has spread through many countries in the world, is the emergence of hybrid governance, a structure which has replaced traditional hierarchical governance in many parts of the public sector. Hybrid governance lies between hierarchical governance and market governance, yet beyond this there is a relative lack of information on how hybrid governance works in detail. This thesis uses principal agent theory to examine the structure and form of hybrid governance. In particular, the analysis presented allows the construction of a three-dimensional governance model to explore the issue of how hybrid governance works in the context of incentives, a relatively neglected area of the public management literature. Applying the theory developed in its first half to the rapid change of higher education in China, this thesis demonstrates how hybrid governance can be analysed through an incentive approach which focuses on reducing state authority, enhancing academic power and creating market rewards. The research findings show that the Chinese government has employed these three incentive methods to motivate universities and their staff towards improved performance, and that hybrid governance has replaced traditional hierarchical governance in Chinese higher education, however the effect of changing governance structure is not significant. A reducing, but still high degree of centralised state control has restricted the incentives produced from market rewards and university academics, and the imbalance of the three incentive forces in hybrid governance impairs the further improvement of the efficiency of public service provision. The main contributions of this thesis, therefore, are to give a better understanding of the nature of hybrid governance, and to expose the limit of Chinese higher education reforms.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Public Policy
School or Department: Institute of Local Government Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)


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