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Lokal forskningspolitik : Institutionell dynamik och organisatorisk omvandling vid Lunds universitet 1980-2005


  • Fredrik Melander

Summary, in English

In the wake of an emerging knowledge society, universities around the world have come under severe institutional pressure from changing national research policies, financing organizations´ new strategies and turbulent research dynamics. This study examines how Lund University in Sweden manages these institutional pressures. The study explores how the university leadership ? rector and the governing board ? have (1) articulated the normative foundations of the university, (2) experimented with and structured the research organization, (3) explored new internal governance structures and steering strategies, and (4) developed institutional structures for closer integration with industry and commercialization of research results. The study develops a conceptual framework focusing on processes of institutional change and on how organizations react on these processes. Especially, I elaborate on the notion of institutional evolution developed within the tradition of historical institutionalism, and the processes and mechanisms behind different evolutionary paths. In the empirical parts of the study, I first analyze processes of institutional change within modern science. The study departures from and criticizes three popular frameworks of contemporary science and research dynamics: the ?Triple Helix? framework, the concept of ?post-academic? science and the transition from a ?Mode-1? to a ?Mode-2? type of knowledge production. The study then continues by analyzing international research policy trends, the developments within Swedish research policy and the governing structures within the field of higher education. The analysis of Lund University over more than two decades reveals an organization using a growing number of different normative foundations and organizational models and structures in its daily operations. The study also demonstrates the gradual transformation of the internal governance structure with recurrent attempts to strengthen the steering core at the central university level. The analysis also points to the successive integration with regional industry, as well as the building up of technology transfer structures and mechanisms within the university during the last 10 to 15 years. The case study demonstrates how the university loyally tries to adapt to a complex and changing environment by elaborating its hybrid character. In conclusion, the analysis in this study shows, on the one hand, the emergence of a ?post-academic? research system containing new institutional logics, governance structures and borders. On the other, hand the case study of Lund University illustrates the evolutionary transformation of a Swedish ?Humboldtian? university. This is a transformation where elements of the ?Entrepreneurial University? are added on to and fused with classical European university norms and structures.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Department of Political Science, Lund University


  • Political Science


  • Mode 2
  • post-academic science
  • Triple Helix
  • technology transfer
  • governance
  • research organization
  • the Entrepreneurial University
  • research policy
  • institutional evolution
  • Lund University
  • institutional theory
  • science dynamics
  • Political and administrative sciences
  • Statsvetenskap
  • förvaltningskunskap




  • Melander, Fredrik (2006). Lokal forskningspolitik: institutionell dynamik och organisatorisk omvandling vid Lunds universitet 1980-2005. Diss. Lund: Lunds universitet.


  • Lennart Lundquist


  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 91-88306-65-8

Defence date

2 October 2006

Defence time


Defence place

Kulturens auditorium, Kulturen


  • Bo Rothstein (Professor)