European Universities in Transition
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European Universities in Transition

Issues, Models and Cases

Edited by Carmelo Mazza, Paolo Quattrone and Angelo Riccaboni

This timely and important book provides a critical analysis of the changes and challenges that currently affect European universities. Using both theoretical contributions and applied case studies, leading experts argue that universities as institutions are in need of change – although the routes that the process may take are heterogeneous.
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Chapter 4: The Role of Business Schools in the Process of University Reform

Anthony G. Hopwood


Anthony G. Hopwood As innovations often occur at the margins of organizations and bodies of knowledge (Miller, 1998), business schools can be interesting institutions to observe in times of intellectual and institutional change. For there can be little doubt that when they are situated in university settings, many, if not most, business schools operate as frontier posts of the academic world, mediating between differing values, conceptions of knowledge and bases for action. Perhaps for this reason, historically business schools have had a complex relationship to universities, particularly in Europe. The teaching of and research into administrative practices seemingly was accepted as part of the canon of legitimate knowledge when those practices involved the State and more particularly the Princely State. Certainly instruction in what was regarded as rational administration was taking place in some Germanspeaking universities in the eighteenth century. But the emergence of interest in commercial administrative practices caused more difficulties. So, for example, separate institutions were established in Italy in Venice (albeit now a full university) and Milan. In France instruction in commercial and governmental administration developed in the Grandes Ecoles, outside the traditional university setting. Similarly in the Nordic countries separate institutions have played a disproportionately significant role, at least in the early years. Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Turku all had separate institutions for instruction in business and commercial skills with the neighbouring traditional universities often distancing themselves from involvement in the business arena. Spain also had and still does have a series...

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