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Leaning an University Department: a life experiment


  • Carvalho, Pedro G.
  • Miragaia, Dina


The European Quality Assurance methodology is pushing hard Portuguese Universities so that they should improve their overall performance. Working at a Portuguese University more than a decade ago, one of the authors experienced several life cycles in different Departments and the experience acquired in foreign Universities (USA) teached him a couple of simple things in order to positively participate in this kind of processes. However, he found it quite difficult to apply his knowledge without other’s contribution, due to several endogenous and exogenous reasons, including age and generation viewpoints. Together with the second author we started to apply some theoretical new insights we were discussing together during her PhD research. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experiment we are in now, following a social network methodology used in my Economics PhD together with three theoretical influences we think are inter twinkled like the lean thinking, the value focus thinking and the complication in innovation diffusion processes. After a brief literature review we describe the basic pillars we used to achieve the main goal of improving performance in a young university department. Using some coaching and economic tools and knowledge, we were able to gather a group of different people – students, staff and teachers - deeply involved in our proposal methodology. Preliminary results are briefly identified, as much as further research challenges.

Suggested Citation

  • Carvalho, Pedro G. & Miragaia, Dina, 2007. "Leaning an University Department: a life experiment," MPRA Paper 2616, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Apr 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad, 1989. "Oil Exports, Real Exchange Rate Appreciation, and Demand for Imports in Nigeria," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 495-512, April.
    2. Pollard, Stephen K. & Graham, Douglas H., 1985. "Price policy and agricultural export performance in Jamaica," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(9), pages 1067-1075, September.
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    More about this item


    Lean thinking; quality improvement; social networks analysis; decision making; Portuguese Universities;

    JEL classification:

    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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