The thesis is a theory-led conceptual account of organisational change at the interface of further and higher education in England over the period 1988 to 2008. It is focused on colleges in the further education sector that provide courses of higher education overseen by a separate higher education sector. The study is concerned with the role and function of boundary organisations and the nature of the exchanges and boundary work that take place between the two sectors. It draws upon theories from political science, economic sociology and the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas to analyse these cross-sector transactions. In part one of the thesis, the context for the research is outlined and the rationale for a conceptual approach is explained. In part two, an analytical framework is developed to conceptualise the dynamics of boundary provision together with processes of hybridisation. In part three, an assessment is made of the contribution of theory to an understanding of policy and institutional change, including the goal of widening participation
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