Is knowledge managed strategically in universities in England?

Pither, Jane Margaret Lacey (2010). Is knowledge managed strategically in universities in England? EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000eb58

Abstract

This study explored the strategic management of knowledge within universities, with particular reference to the resource-based strategy theory of the firm as outlined by Grant (1998). A survey of registrars and university secretaries from English universities yielded data about senior management perspectives on aspects of managing both explicit and tacit knowledge. These data were compared with an initial conceptual model, derived from a review of relevant literature. Document analysis of 'knowledge job' advertisements (and the related job descriptions) placed by universities in two national newspapers over a two-year period produced data that were compared and contrasted with the survey data in order to revise the model.

The revised model showed an emphasis on the strategic importance of knowledge held at institutional level, that 'boundary-spanning relationships' are important to universities and that the knowledge held by staff was considered to be less important. Explicit knowledge was found to be managed strategically within universities, whereas tacit knowledge was not. It was confirmed that universities perceived knowledge in differing ways, either as a strategic resource, or as a process or asset. In some cases there was evidence of the perception of knowledge as a social construct. It was concluded that there was no common understanding of managing knowledge strategically in universities.

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