Issues, Models and Cases
Edited by Carmelo Mazza, Paolo Quattrone and Angelo Riccaboni
Chapter 4: The Role of Business Schools in the Process of University Reform
4. The role of business schools in the process of university reform 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...
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