Harmonising the interface between academic and administrative mind-sets


S. Preymann, S. Sterrer, B. Ehrenstorfer, M. Gaisch, R. Aichinger - Harmonising the interface between academic and administrative mind-sets in Global Challenges, National Initiatives, and Institutional Responses (Editors: C. Sarrico, P. Teixeira, A. Magalhaes, A. Veiga, M. J. Rosa, T. Carvalho) - Sense Publishers, 2016, pp. 237-264


With the increasing importance attached to new public management, administrative parts of university organisations have experienced rising attention. Academics fear that administrative managers may take over control and constrict academic freedom. Yet, it is not clear how administrative middle managers perceive their role themselves. The relationship between administrative middle management and academics is bound to be challenging and conflict prone (Krücken et al 2013). Following this stream of argumentation, this paper elaborates on the possibilities to align and harmonise discrepancies as well as conflicting and diverse demands resulting from tensions between academic and commercial mind-sets. By doing so, the authors focus on an administrative point of view drawing from the concept of new institutionalism theory (e.g. Greenwood & Hinings 1996) and organisational ambidexterity (Tushman & O’Reilly 1996). Accordingly, the integration of both systems and their learning modes (exploration vs. exploitation) is essential to ensure long-term organisational success and survival