Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management

Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson

Across the world academic institutions are being questioned by their stakeholders and pressured to change. Answering these questions requires that academics and professional managers in universities think about their work, its value and organisation. The book highlights the need for space and stimulus to reflect on the responsibilities, roles and expectations that they identify for themselves, and that others place upon them – then, they might be better able to understand and to act. Similarly, policymakers and higher education commentators need the space and stimulus to reflect on the role of universities. This book will provide this space and an invaluable contribution to the stimulus.

Chapter 13: Developing the ‘third place’: the collaborative roles of universities in territorial knowledge creation

Roger Normann and Hans Chr Garmann Johnsen

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, education, management and universities, politics and public policy, leadership


Universities are supposed to play a major role in the knowledge economy. This was already outlined by Daniel Bell in his 1973 book on the postindustrial society (Bell 1973). One could argue that the role of knowledge and the role of knowledge institutions in society since then have gained importance. Over the last two decades, there has been a large literature that addresses this. Most of this literature sees universities as knowledge developing institutions that can fuel the economy with knowledge inputs (Trani and Holsworth 2010). Although knowledge, like so many other general concepts, covers many meanings, and refers to many different understandings, knowledge development and transfer has become an important topic in discussions of economic development. Likewise, the discussion of university policy, at least in Norway, is increasingly framed in terms of economic policy; that is how universities can support innovation and collaborate for business development. In this chapter we argue that in spite of this increased interest and relevance of university–society collaboration, the topic of understanding what happens when the two meet is underdeveloped.

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