Advancing Theory on Knowledge Governance in Universities: A Case Study of a Higher Education Merger

Mehdi Safavi, Lars Håkanson

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    The deep structure of university knowledge governance system is uncharted. In an exploratory case study of a university merger with an art college, this study inductively examines how knowledge governance structures in universities affect (and are affected by) the creation and passing on of knowledge. The authors found the university governance system to provide advantages primarily for the management of core academic activities of knowledge creation through articulation and for the passing on and dissemination of knowledge through replication. It is also conducive to the coordination and integration of specialized administrative expertise. However, despite insistent calls for more inter-disciplinary research, it tends to discourage the pursuit of innovative, inter-disciplinary combinations of knowledge. These findings shed light on the characteristics of the deep structure of university knowledge governance systems in academic work, namely academic staff identification with, and allegiance to, individual disciplines, as well as the independence of academic work from its particular organizational setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)500-523
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 13. June 2016


    • Universities
    • Knowledge governance
    • Combination
    • Interdisciplinarity
    • Epistemic communities
    • Mergers

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