restricted access Partner Positioning: Examining International Higher Education Partnerships through a Mutuality Lens


Scholarship on international higher education partnerships is often framed by strategic management and organization theories. These approaches are useful, but can minimize how power dynamics and positioning of partners impact engagement and outcomes. This study uses qualitative inquiry to examine 60 international higher education partnerships through the lens of mutuality in order to emphasize how partners negotiate and navigate power. Partnerships were comprised of a university in the U.S. and in the Majority World with the goal of addressing international development challenges. Findings emphasize the process of partnership creation, navigating cross-cultural contexts, partner positioning and partnership dynamics, and stakeholder engagement.