Performative view of knowledge exploitation and exploration: a case study of a higher education merger
Safavi, Seyed Mehdi
MetadataShow full item record
Organizational transformations, such as mergers and acquisitions, disrupt the steady state of organizational daily life. Under some conditions, these kinds of disruptions may actually alter the organizational and occupational structure of everyday work. However, current theories of organizational learning and knowledge governance, such as the so-called ‘knowledge- or capability-based view of the firm’, are inadequate when it comes to the potential number of structural variations inherent in an organizational transformation taking place in non-commercial organizational settings such as higher education institutions. In an exploratory case study of a university merger, this dissertation inductively examines how governance structures in universities impact the creation and exploitation of knowledge, both in core academic activities (research and teaching) and in related and supporting administrative tasks. This setting provides an institutional configuration that differs considerably from that which has informed most previous research on the creation, sharing and exploitation of knowledge, but in which there are prominent institutional locales for the governance of knowledge processes. Taking a practice lens, this study proposes a finer-grained picture of those structural variations by depicting the recursive relationship between changes in knowledge content (ostensive aspects) and knowledge-use practices (performative aspects) in the academic merger. Similarities and differences in relation to knowledge governance in firms are also identified. The findings suggest a classification of the micro-processes by which organizational and competence-based capabilities are recreated, improving our understanding of knowledge-based capabilities (re)creation at different levels of organization and through different stages of merger implementation.