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Elena Vishlenkova 1, Kira Ilina 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Document Management in Universities as a Managerial Practice The Russian experience of the first half of the 19th century

2013. No. 1. P. 232–255 [issue contents]

Yelena Vishlenkova, Ph.D. in History, Professor in the Subdepartment of Social History, Faculty of History, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: evishlenkoa@mail.ru 

Kira Ilyina, Ph.D. in History, junior researcher at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: glukist@mail.ru 

Using archival and legislative sources, the authors reconstruct template documents, rate of document flow and features of document management in Russian universities of the first half of the 19th century. Document management is regarded as an administrative practice allowing the Ministry to inculcate bureaucratic values and an ethos of serving the government in professor, making them renounce their administrative autonomy.

Being engaged in bureaucratic re-arrangement of reality, Russian professors very soon embarked on paperwork, which boosted the document flow in universities. The large scale of this behavior model indicates that a new type of university culture was born. 

Bureaucratic management of universities in the Russian Empire was different from that in Western countries in that it aimed to make the document flow uniform with other public institutions and to develop uniform rules and formal language. As a result, professors gradually lost the opportunity to express their own opinions and to take initiative in communicating with the government. The authors emphasize the subordinate nature of activities performed by professors to satisfy relevant governmental demands, which suggested that professors assisted in opening new schools, controlled existing ones, eradicated prejudice, obtained primary data on imperial regions and resources (topographic, meteorological, ethnographic, and economic data), and disseminated Western scientific ideas and knowledge in regional culture. An analysis of document management in Russian universities of the first half of the 19th century has shown that they were part of the administrative structure at that time, which diminished their status significantly, as compared to Western universities.

Citation: Vishlenkova E., Ilina K. (2013) Universitetskoe deloproizvodstvo kak praktika upravleniya. Opyt Rossii pervoy poloviny XIX v. [Document Management in Universities as a Managerial Practice The Russian experience of the first half of the 19th century]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 232-255.
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