SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AS A DRIVING FORCE IN BOOSTING STRUCTURAL INNOVATIVE TRANSFORMATIONS
Keywords:social responsibility, higher education institution, institutionalization
A special research focus is put on the critical need to adapt performance of higher education institutions to the specifics of global-institutional transformations associated in the first place with modern economic development trends. The core of any higher education institution activities relies upon the readiness of society to develop this kind of activity. To gain strong public support, universities should perform certain social activities (community project funding, provide social protection for employees, caring for the environment, etc.), along with informing society about such activities, thus emphasizing their importance. The research hypothesis is represented by a statement that institutionalization of social responsibility of higher education institutions should be transformed into a process of formalization of socioeconomic relationships which are characterized by a gradual transition from informal links and chaotic (unorganized) interactions between universities to formalized relationship patterns with a clearly organized structure, hierarchy and a regulatory framework. The purpose of this study is to determine the role of social responsibility of higher education institutions as a powerful driver in boosting structural innovative transformations. To attain the objectives set, the following research methods have been employed: an evolutionary method, historical and systemic approach, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction techniques – to render explicit concept definitions; an institutional approach – to enhance the hierarchical structure and content of the elements of social responsibility of higher educational institutions. The findings have revealed the nature of the institutional approach and the specifics of its application to explore social responsibility of higher education institutions. In addition, an improved hierarchy and the content of social responsibility structural elements have been suggested for higher education institutions. It is argued that the developed principles of the hierarchical structure of social responsibility of higher education institutions will contribute to shaping robust behavioural patterns within the innovative educational paradigm that meet the demands of all stakeholders in the higher education system.