A conceptual analysis of institutional culture at a Namibian university

Kabende, Matildah Mwangelwa (2015-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This philosophical study draws on Gadamer’s hermeneutics, which is primarily concerned with the understanding and interpretation of texts. From this perspective I conduct a conceptual and documentary analysis of institutional culture with the aim of gaining deeper understanding of how institutional culture is constructed and articulated in institutional policy documents. The unit of analysis is the University of Namibia (UNAM), the leading higher education institution in Namibia. The available data indicates that institutional culture in the Namibian context has been under-studied. I constructed four meanings (strategy, typology, history and tradition, and scholarship) that served as a theoretical framework for an analysis of the institutional policy documents of UNAM. This study found that the meanings of institutional culture are articulated in relevant policy documents and that the university’s institutional culture is influenced by the national policy, Namibia Vision 2030. UNAM seeks to develop its students and the community to lead institutions in the country towards a knowledge-based economy, economic growth and improved quality of life. By implication, UNAM is not an outstanding institution but envisages to become one by the year 2030. Further, UNAM sees itself as weak in terms of knowledge creation and publication, and desires this area to be a best practice in the next five year. UNAM can be classified as a developmental institution and draws from the national developmental strategy in Namibia Vision 2030. To respond to this national vision, UNAM seeks to align its institutional culture according to national priorities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie filosofiese studie maak gebruik van Gadamer se hermeneutiek, wat primêr besorg is met die verstaan en interpretasie van teks. Uit hierdie perspektief doen ek ’n konseptuele en dokumentêre analise van institusionele kultuur met die doel om ’n dieper begrip te bekom oor hoe institusionele kultuur in institusionele beleidsdokumente gekonstrueer en geartikuleer word. Die eenheid van analise was die Universiteit van Namibië (UNAM), die vernaamste hoëronderwysinstelling in Namibië. Beskikbare data dui daarop dat institusionele kultuur in die Namibiese konteks onderbestudeer is. Ek het vier betekenisse gekonstrueer (strategie, tipologie, geskiedenis en tradisie, en akademieskap) om as ’n teoretiese raamwerk vir die analise van UNAM se institusionele beleidsdokumente te dien. Hierdie studie bevind dat die betekenisse van institusionele kultuur in relevante beleidsdokumente geartikuleer word, en verder dat die universiteit se institusionele kultuur beïnvloed word deur die nasionale beleid, naamlik Namibië se Vision 2030. UNAM poog om sy studente en die samelewing op te bou om sodoende instellings in die land te lei na ’n kennisgebaseerde ekonomie, ekonomiese groei en ’n beter lewensgehalte. By implikasie is UNAM nie reeds ’n uitmuntende instelling nie, maar streef hy wel daarna om teen die jaar 2030 ’n uitmuntende instelling te wees. Verder sien UNAM homself ook as swak in terme van kennisskepping en -publikasie, en wil graag sien dat hierdie area in die volgende vyf jaar ’n beste praktyk raak. UNAM kan as ’n ontwikkelingsinstelling geklassifiseer word en verkry inspirasie uit die nasionale ontwikkelingstrategie vervat in Vision 2030. As antwoord op hierdie nasionale visie streef UNAM daarna om sy institusionele kultuur as ’n nasionale prioriteit te rig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98020
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