Toward A Conceptual Synthesis and Ecological Approach to Case Studies of Curricular Innovation Implementation and University Restructuring in Russian HE

Tamara Savelyeva


This study addresses the methodological and conceptual challenges associated with the application of disconnected frameworks of organizational theory and case studies, focused on “efficiency, effectiveness, and economy” to investigate complex educational phenomena in post-Soviet higher education systems under the condition of restructuring. I use the example of university restructuring and institutional curricular innovation implementation in Russian higher education to test and validate an alternative model, which employs ecological principles as the guiding value system and utilizes conceptual synthesis at all stages of this case study. The resulting descriptive model comprises antecedents, processes, and contents of university restructuring under three broad categories: organization, environment, and relation. Elaborated with an ecological approach, this model enriches the current vision of curricular innovation implementation from lineal to the perspectives of emergence, networking, and self-organization principles of ecological science. In discussing the results of the study, I offer a new research model with its possible methodological constraints as well as its great potentials to advance the sub-field of educational policy and educational administration.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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