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University Policies for the Knowledge Society: Global Standardization, Local Reinvention

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

Although the ideas of the knowledge society and knowledge-based economy originate from the 1960s and 1970s, they became popular as a policy idea especially at the end of the twentieth century. Developed and less developed countries alike portray the path towards the knowledge society as the way forward, bringing economic prosperity and social advancement. In adapting to this move towards knowledge societies, universities apply specific organizational forms that have gradually evolved into global models. This spread of globalized models shows an inherent tendency towards processes of convergence, isomorphism, or homogenization. On the surface, a convergence of higher education and science policies seems to have occurred in the past decade or so. A closer look at organizational practices, however, might reveal more local variation in the adoption of these global university models for the knowledge society.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education and Social Work, Education Building A35, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia;, Email:


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