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Ambidextrous personal networks: Organizing the university for innovation-oriented and refinement-oriented relationships

Author:

Georg Reischauer

Research Cluster Organization, Management, and Leadership, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany
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Abstract

How can a university stimulate knowledge creation in light of competing sources of knowledge? This paper directed at practitioner in research support and university management addresses this question with the concept ambidextrous personal networks that centres the relationships of researchers. It suggests to encourage researchers of a university to maintain a balance between two types of relationships. Innovation-oriented relationships denote relationships with persons from disciplines other than those a researcher was trained in and with practitioners of industries that are close to the researcher’s discipline. These relationships prompt innovative knowledge. Refinement-oriented relationships, in contrast, are relationships with researchers from the same discipline. These relationships prompt refined knowledge. Ambidextrous personal networks are implemented through the university’s organizational form, which is the ensemble of rules and activities that provide researchers with basic guidelines for acceptable behaviour. To support the implementation, a framework that covers key dimensions of an organizational form – boundary-crossing relationships, formal organization, activities, workforce composition, and organizational culture – is outlined.

How to Cite: Reischauer, G. (2016). Ambidextrous personal networks: Organizing the university for innovation-oriented and refinement-oriented relationships. Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 65–75. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ssas.96
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Published on 31 Dec 2016.
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