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The embedding of knowledge in the academy: “tolerance”, irresponsibility or other imperatives?

By Miriam Green

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine why there were different representations and research applications of Burns and Stalker's The Management of Innovation. Design/methodology/approach – The approach primarily takes the form of an examination of academic journals, in particular The Administrative Science Quarterly between 1960 and 1980. Theoretical works, in particular by Bourdieu, were also used. Findings – Contrary to accepted knowledge, the journals were eclectic in their approaches and did not require authors to adopt positivist approaches. Research limitations/implications – A fuller answer to the question posed would require interviews with journal editors and university policy makers from the 1960s-1980s. This has not been possible so far. Although some answers have been provided, questions still remain as to why certain representations of this book were dominant. Practical implications – There are implications as to what counts as knowledge in academe, and how this knowledge should be treated, given that it may only partially represent the theory above and also other theories. This has implications for what is taught in universities and what is adopted by consultants as bona fide knowledge. Originality/value – To the author's knowledge such questions using this type of research have not been examined in the detail pursued here.Contingency planning, Knowledge management

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