Structures of Authority in Ethiopian Universities

Rediet Tesfaye Abebe


Authority is an important topic of research in the field of higher education. The main discussion of this paper centres on explaining the authority scheme of Ethiopian universities from a sociological point of view using Weber’s model of authority structures. It gives due emphasis to presenting a comprehensive view of the three ideal types of authority; traditional, charismatic and rational-legal. The dynamic relationship between these types of authority within higher education institutions (HEIs) is analysed both as a source of cooperation and tension. The paper also compares the authority structures within the Ethiopian context based on time factor and institutional diversity. It also reflects on the contrast between this context and the general European higher education environment. Finally, the paper’s concluding remarks suggest the need to improve the relationship between the types of authority in a manner that promotes the academic development of students. It also attempts to predict the future direction of Weber’s theory by analysing the question of authority structures.

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ISSN 2411-2445