Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 316: Managing the teaching-research nexus: ideals and practice in research oriented universities

Lars Geschwind () and Anders Broström ()
Additional contact information
Lars Geschwind: Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Anders Broström: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper demonstrates that while ideals of close linkages between research and teaching are widely embraced in research-oriented universities, a practice of division of labour between teaching-oriented and research-oriented staff persists. In an investigation of how the research-teaching nexus is managed at three Swedish universities, we identify a perceived misalignment between institutional incentives for individual academic staff and the needs of teaching. Under pressure from such tensions, managers are forced to deploy pragmatic strategies for the staffing of undergraduate education tasks. This includes allowing research needs and agendas to take priority over teaching needs. While managers actively struggle to secure the participation of senior researchers in education, they often actively prefer to delegate the bulk of teaching activities to less research-active staff. Such strategies seem to reinforce existing patterns of division of labour among academic staff.

Keywords: Teaching-research nexus; university management; research-oriented education

JEL-codes: I21; I23

17 pages, June 10, 2013

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