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Relations of power and knowledge: university–industry relations in business studies in Finland

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Abstract

In the globalized neoliberal economy, business schools and business science has become a dominant societal institution and discourse. However, this has not directly strengthened the position of business schools in the societal networks of power. This paper examines this paradox by depicting who are the actors in the field and how these actors seek to influence what passes as legitimate knowledge in the discipline of business studies. Informed by actor network theory (Latour in Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network theory. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005) and drawing on the antenarrative analysis (Boje in Narrative methods for organizational and communication research. Sage Publications, London, 2001), the paper considers the understated dynamics of negotiation over the form and content of academic knowledge in a local context (cf. Alferoff and Knights in Br J Manag 20(1):125–142, 2009). The paper depicts the change that has occurred from the early 1990s till today. First, the potentially influential actors will be identified. Second, two maps of networks in different points of time will be traced. In the contemporary network, the gatekeeper role of business schools is undermined by new prominent actors. The paper shows how business schools, instead of gaining a high power position, are now more dependent on a variety of other actors, who increasingly define what passes as relevant and valid knowledge in business studies.

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Correspondence to Hanna Lehtimäki.

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Lehtimäki, H., Peltonen, T. Relations of power and knowledge: university–industry relations in business studies in Finland. High Educ 66, 203–216 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-012-9599-z

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