Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Mario Martinez

Second Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Third Committee Member

Brandy Smith

Fourth Committee Member

Chin-Chun Hsu

Number of Pages



Similar to multinational corporations, international branch campuses have the challenge of maintaining legitimacy in different cultural and regulatory environments across national borders. It is common for organizations to modify business practices when expanding operations abroad to respond to local demands and preferences based upon cultural expectations and regulatory requirements.

National culture is comprised of the underlying values, beliefs, and attitudes of a society that drives behavior and expectations (Hofstede, 1980). Differences in national culture determine the amount of local adaptation necessary to conduct business in a foreign country (Kostova & Roth, 2002). International branch campuses must also maintain quality assurance and adherence to the main campus brand in order to confer degrees in its name.

Using Bartlett and Ghoshal’s (1989) global integration-local responsiveness typology of multinational corporations as the theoretical framework, this study examines an international branch campus that has been thriving in Japan for over two decades to determine how the framework and other related factors may help explain the international branch campus’ sustainability.

Results reveal that the international branch campus’ sustainability is attributed to the hiring process of faculty, the relationship among the partners, the IBC's positioning as providing an American-style education, and recognition by the Ministry of Education in the host country. Factors influencing sustainability related to the framework include standardization of the curriculum and all academic processes, and adaptation of faculty hiring strategies, marketing and recruitment tactics, and partnership administrative control. Factors external to the framework include the establishment and maintenance of external and internal legitimacy, and understanding how culture influences values, attitudes, and beliefs to enhance communication, resolve conflict, and sustain a strong partnership.


Cultural Distance; International Branch Campuses; International Higher Education; Multinational Corporations; Organizational Legitimacy; Sustainability


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Education | Work, Economy and Organizations

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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