Actors’ Interpretations and Organisational Change Processes: The Case of the University of Ghana’s Strategic Vision of Becoming a ’World Class University’

Emmanuel Intsiful, Peter Maassen


Despite its seemingly subjective and ambiguous nature, the notion of a World Class University (WCU) appears both established and widely discussed in higher education discourses over the last decade. At the same time, some scholars have argued that the notion does not fit or refer to universities in Africa. In the year 2010, the University of Ghana which is the largest university in the country, agreed upon a strategic vision for the university emphasizing the notion of WCU. In this regard the question emerges, what this WCU vision at the University of Ghana actually means in practice, since it is not prescribed by the university’s leadership but left open for interpretation, operationalization and further implementation by all members of the organization. Using an interdependency management perspective, this paper examines how university leadership and academic staff interpret the WCU strategic vision at the University of Ghana and to what extent organizational change processes are the result of the implementation of the university’s WCU strategy.

Keywords: World Class University, management, academics, interdependency management

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