Structuring the Internationalization Problem of Tehran University by Using Soft Systems Methodology and the Best-Worst Method

Document Type : Scientific - Research

Authors

1 Ph.D. Candidate of Operations Research in Industrial Management, Faculty of Management, Industrial Management Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management, Industrial Management Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Faculty of Management, Industrial Management Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

10.52547/mpes.15.2.185

Abstract

Objectives: During the past decades, many studies have been conducted on the internationalization of universities. Some of these studies, referring to the ranking systems, have introduced them as a reliable source for evaluating the international position of the university, and on the other hand, some have questioned the existence of these systems. Until now, few studies have been conducted to structure the complexities in the phenomenon of the internationalization of universities. In this research, the main goal is to present a hybrid model to analyze the complexities of the internationalization issue of the University of Tehran and ultimately to gain a deeper understanding of this phenomenon in line with better policies in the real issue.
Materials and Methods: In this research, focusing on the issue of Tehran University's international position, after explaining the need to simultaneously look at the different dimensions of the complexity of this issue, a combined method of applying research in soft operations and research in hard operations is presented; based on the need to simultaneously pay attention to the role of actors in the problematic situation, the mental models of each category of actors have been extracted and also, the solutions to face the problematic situation have been identified and prioritized. The method of this research is mixed type (qualitative-quantitative) and in this regard, by using the opinions of experts and applying the methodology of Soft Systems and the Best-Worst method, the solutions to face the problematic situation have been identified and prioritized, and the final conceptual model has been developed. In the qualitative part of this research, semi-structured interview and snowball sampling method were used. For this purpose, experts were placed in two categories of close and distant stakeholders based on a classification. The criterion for saturation of the interviews was reaching theoretical saturation which was achieved after a total of 29 interviews. In the quantitative part of this research, the non-random sampling method and available samples were used; standard questionnaires were distributed among the interviewees of the qualitative part, and finally, 26 questionnaires were used for the final analysis. Analyzes related to the influence of the opinions of each group of actors in the configuration of the final model are also presented based on the collected data of the analysis and, the practical suggestions regarding facing the problematic situation have been presented.
Discussion & Conclusions: Based on the findings of this research, the factors affecting the situation of the problem maker were divided into three categories: main, consensus, and miscellaneous factors. The main factors are the most important from the point of view of handling, and other factors are at the next priority levels. Based on the obtained results, four main solutions have been identified to face the problematic situation, and operational measures corresponding to each of them have been proposed.

Keywords


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