Factors affecting the decision to merge: The case of strategic mergers in Norwegian higher education

Much research has been undertaken to investigate the cultural, structural and, to some extent, the economic effects of mergers in higher education. However, surprisingly little research has been done on why higher education institutions decide to merge. This article identifies and discusses a number of structural factors that may play a role when reaching a merger agreement. By drawing on a series of merger initiatives in Norwegian higher education, the article shows that merger processes involving more than two institutions dramatically reduces the chances of reaching a merger decision, and that a number of other factors may also play a negative role. The article concludes by reflecting upon the complex conditions surrounding strategic merger processes, and by identifying some practical implications for institutions involved in merger processes.

publication details

Title Factors affecting the decision to merge: The case of strategic mergers in Norwegian higher education
Category Academic article
AuthorSvein Kyvik
AuthorBjørn Stensaker
publication year2013
issn1358-3883