Rule-Making in the Transnational Space : The Development of European Accreditation of Management Education
Sammanfattning: The thesis deals with the emergence in the area of management education of a European accreditation system known as the European Quality Improvement System, or EQUIS, and with the subsequent spread if this system. Answers are sought as to why and how the system was launched, and why it made such an impact in Europe. EQUIS is conceptualised as a regulatory system possessing certain elements in common with other new forms of regulation that are proliferating in contemporary society. The aim here is to contribute to a conceptual approach that can help to explain rule-making and rule-diffusion at the transnational level in society and the organising that these involve. The thesis focuses on the supply side of regulation and the role and impact of non-governmental organisations, or NGOs, in the processes concerned.A core assumption in the thesis is that regulatory systems like EQUIS do not evolve in a vacuum. They are described here as conditioned by the specific institutional and organisational contexts in which they are embedded. In order to encapsulate these contexts, while also attending to the dynamics, the sequencing and the timing of their emergence, a process-oriented and multi-level analytical framework has been employed.The study is based on a historical analysis of the specific institutional context in which EQUIS evolved and on a case study of the history of EQUIS itself, with due attention to the organisational context in which the system came into being. A variety of data sources, including literature, documents, interviews and observations, has been used.The study shows how EQUIS emerged in a situation of competition - cum - cooperation between regulators in the transnational space, their regulatory activities and the recipients of their regulations. The study also draws attention to the active and influential role of NGOs in transnational rule-making processes.
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