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Transforming traditional university structures for the knowledge economy through multidisciplinary institutes


  • Simon Mosey
  • Mike Wright
  • Bart Clarysse


Within the UK considerable policy support has been provided to create multidisciplinary institutes that encourage academics to develop new knowledge for industry and societal problems. We consider four large traditional UK universities that have gained significant funding for such activities. We examine the changes in institutional structures necessary to enable universities to transform from single-discipline-based schools to multidisciplinary institutes. New incentives for working across schools, the cross-subsidy transfer of industry-funded research and teaching income, and senior role models are observed to enable the development of a multidisciplinary research capability. Yet, this capability is not easily sustained. It appears that for institutes to survive beyond the initial funding round, they regress towards traditional school activities of peer-reviewed research and teaching. We conclude that to transform academic behaviour, a fundamental shift in promotion procedures, which remain heavily weighted towards peer-reviewed journal publication within single disciplines, is required. Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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  • Simon Mosey & Mike Wright & Bart Clarysse, 2012. "Transforming traditional university structures for the knowledge economy through multidisciplinary institutes," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 587-607.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:36:y:2012:i:3:p:587-607

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    Cited by:

    1. James C. Ryan, 2016. "A validation of the individual annual h-index (hIa): application of the hIa to a qualitatively and quantitatively different sample," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(1), pages 577-590, October.
    2. Enrico Deiaco & Alan Hughes & Maureen McKelvey, 2012. "Universities as strategic actors in the knowledge economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 525-541.

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