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The Power of Institutional Isomorphism: An Analysis of the Institutionalization of Performance-Based Pay Systems in Korean National Universities

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  • Source:
    Asia Pacific Education Review, v13 n2 p281-297 Jun 2012. 17 pp.
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    Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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      Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
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    • Keyword:
      United States, Korea
    • Abstract:
      The purpose of this study was to analyze the introduction of the performance-based pay system (PPS) in Korean national universities through the perspective of institutional isomorphism. Using three isomorphism concepts of coercive, mimetic, and normative, and further framing the PPS within the overarching theoretical frameworks of governmentality, neoliberalism, myth, and policy convergence, this study explored the historical and social background of the PPS, the reason the Korean government pursued the PPS form used in the US higher education, and the main factors that affected its introduction in Korean national universities. The result of this analysis shows that while the institutionalization of the PPS in Korean national universities seemed closely associated with the radical political, economic change in Korean society, it was in fact an exemplar of isomorphism from the US model of public and private higher education. This isomorphic activity functioned simultaneously as a norm, social order, and myth within Korean higher education while faculty displayed an anti-isomorphic tendency against the power of the institutional isomorphism of PPS in national universities.
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    • Education Level:
      Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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