Laboratories of Agency: Renegotiating the Boundary Between Academia and Host Organization in Commissioned Management Programmes

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Something happens when management programmes move “into” the workplace of their participants. According to recent observations, such commissioned programmes are characterized by a more dedicated participation and transfer than open courses. This article interprets the mechanisms that can account for the observed pattern. One interpretation focuses on the realization of managerial regimes and forms of subjectivation. Another interpretation looks for the unleashing of new and multiple forms of agency. These two interpretations are mediated in the understanding of commissioned programmes as an institutionally contradictory context, where contradictions present both breakdowns and openings for agency. The article suggests that this dialectical movement must be followed in the further development and testing of the initial hypothesis. Implications for both further research and teaching practice are discussed
TidsskriftTeaching Public Administration
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)255-272
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2015


  • Agency
  • Institutional contradictions
  • Management programmes
  • Paradox
  • Transfer