Land Administration an Academic Discipline: To Be or Not to Be

Liza Groenendijk, Rohan Bennett, Paul van der Molen (Emeritus Professor), J.A. Zevenbergen

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This paper examines the status of land administration as an academic discipline. An evaluation approach for validating areas of study as academic disciplines is described. The approach is then applied to the domain of land administration. The following attributes are found to exist: formal definitions, a common knowledge base, structural elements on university level, graduate programs and students, both academic and professional associations, textbooks, discipline specific lingo, some icons and visible scholars, some researcher self-identification with the discipline, some accepted rules, recurring conferences, and a strong interaction between academia and the field of practice. The following attributes are still found to be wanting: unifying theories, procedures and methods of inquiry, a unique cluster of research problems, a shared vision, recurring journals, and a truly worldwide research community. In summary, at best, land administration represents a discipline in formation. Alternatively, it can be considered an emerging area of interdisciplinary study, however, still primarily based in the areas of land registration (land lawyers) and cadastre (geodesists/surveyors). It is concluded that scholars, including those beyond the traditional fields, and practitioners must work more collaboratively to overcome the areas of weakness. In doing so, the utility of land administration in assisting with the delivery of broader societal goals will be enhanced.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalFIG Peer Review Journal
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2012
EventFIG Working week 2012: Knowing to manage the territory, protect the environment, evaluate the cultural heritage - Rome, Italy
Duration: 6 May 201210 May 2012


  • METIS-294716


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