The Adoption of Online Education for the Delivery of Graduate Business Programs in Canadian AACSB Accredited Business Schools: Exploring the Influence of Enabling and Constraining Forces on Institutional Change

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Title: The Adoption of Online Education for the Delivery of Graduate Business Programs in Canadian AACSB Accredited Business Schools: Exploring the Influence of Enabling and Constraining Forces on Institutional Change
Authors: Pavic, Ivana
Date: 2016
Abstract: The competitiveness of the graduate business education market; concerns over graduate program relevance; and decreased provincial funding are placing destabilizing pressures on the current graduate business program offerings in business schools promoting the possibility of institutional change. Despite most academic institutions embracing online education as an option to respond, Canadian AACSB accredited business schools have not moved in this direction. The purpose of this research study was to explore the reasons for the limited adoption of online education in Canadian AACSB accredited business schools. The theoretical lens framing this research study was Institutional theory. A qualitative multiple case study research design was carried out with four Canadian AACSB accredited business schools participating. The main data collection method was semi-structured interviews with senior administration and faculty. This study revealed that the constraining forces were stronger than the enabling forces towards adoption, ultimately leading to limited adoption. The enabling forces identified were: market expansion opportunities; cost and infrastructure savings; and student demand for more online education. The constraining forces identified were: the lack of face-to-face interaction; and development and delivery cost. An examination of stakeholder influence found faculty resistance, to hold the strongest influence on organizational decision making in these business schools. Faculty resistance was concentrated mainly towards fully online graduate programs with greater acceptance for the hybrid format. The Institutional theory lens helped to understand that institutional change in academic institutions is difficult, due to the isomorphic forces acting as constraining forces to institutional change. This rendered the finding that the lack of legitimacy of this delivery medium was the main reason for the limited adoption of online education. A number of significant contributions to research in the areas of online education and institutional change in academic institutions; practical implications; and suggestions for future research in this area were also provided.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35075
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5206
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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