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A Boolean Analysis of Structural and Organizational Determinants of Equality and Efficiency Balance in Higher Education

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of IsfahanIslamic Republic of Iran
  • | 2 Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Mohaghegh ArdabiliIslamic Republic of Iran
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Abstract

Efficiency and equality are both important goals and values in higher education, and their concurrency (balance) has been one of the main concerns of higher education scholars and policy makers over the past decades. The aim of the present study is to discover the causal mechanism and contextual factors that are likely to result in concurrency of equality and efficiency in higher education. To this end, the combination of two explanatory theories of equality and efficiency were used. The theory of equality focused on three dimensions of equal opportunities, modernization, and cultural differences. Likewise, to explain efficiency, Chalabi’s three-level causal model of sustainable production of science was used. Methodologically, a multiple case study method was adopted, and the cases under study (nine countries) were selected based on purposive sampling. The findings showed that for the concurrency of equality and efficiency in higher education, a set of conditions must be present in the configurational and combinational causality. The preconditions for this concurrency is the presence of some social conditions such as productive economy, the rule of law, inter-societies competitiveness, social cohesion, democracy, universalism, egalitarianism (at macro level), meritocracy, academic autonomy, and organizational competitiveness (at the meso level) and the absence of some other conditions including fatalism (at the macro level).

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