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  • Reforms, tacit knowledge, and institutional traps in education and science


TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 17 (no. 2),

Education reform in Russia is strongly influenced by neoliberal and managerial discourses. New academic regulations and standards imply that the performance of educational and scientific organizations should be estimated using clear, objective and comparable, measurable quantitative indicators. The article examines how stable inefficient institutional equilibria or institutional traps emerge as a result of neoliberal agenda in education and science reforms. Underestimation of the role of tacit knowledge in education reforms results in behavioral models that neglect specific academic values, social capital and institutions. The role of tacit knowledge in education and science is related to the possibilities for the interactions and effective choice by the professionals. To identify the institutional traps in education and science, we relied on the main actors’ narratives analysis and a qualitative survey. Two institutional traps demonstrate the problem of ignoring the role of tacit knowledge most clearly; these are the decrease in the quality of education, from the one hand, and digitalization and ICT application to education, on the other. In the medium term perspective, the negative impact of the institutional trap related to decrease in the quality of education is likely to be more intensive due to destruction of the institutional environment and decline in the quality of human and social capital in the academic sphere. ICT application, in turn, do not allow the transfer of non-codified tacit knowledge. Due to digitalization, there is an uncontrollable drop in the quantity of teachers, accompanied with the excessive regulation and bureaucratization, which result in the transformation of organizational mechanisms in the field of education and science.
Citation: Volchik, V. V., and Maslyukova, E. V. (2019). Reforms, tacit knowledge, and institutional traps in education and science. Terra Economicus, 17(2), 146–162. DOI: 10.23683/2073-6606-2019-17-2-146-162

Keywords: institutional traps; tacit knowledge; institutional economics; reforms; education and science

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606