The knowledge-productive corporate university

Femke Jansink, Kitty Kwakman, Jan Streumer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)
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    Purpose: In this paper the concept of knowledge production is used as a framework to study Dutch corporate universities. Knowledge production serves not simply as a desirable aim of corporate universities, as the concept also offers guidelines for the design of corporate universities. The purpose is to clarify the extent to which corporate universities fulfil this aim of knowledge production and the way they produce new knowledge.

    Design/methodology/approach: From different theoretical perspectives 11 design characteristics have been extracted that help corporate universities to be knowledge‐productive. Two empirical studies were carried out to find out to what extent corporate universities meet those features required for knowledge production. The first study implies an exploration of opinions of key actors within 12 Dutch corporate universities, in which data were gathered through interviews and analysis of documents. The second study can be characterised as a case study of a concrete training practice within one corporate university. Data were gathered by interviews, evaluative questionnaires, and observation.

    Findings: Results reveal that knowledge production is viewed as important, but that concrete measures to stimulate it are often absent. Moreover, corporate universities need to pay more attention to the working environment of their employees in order to achieve their own goals.

    Originality/value: Analysing the corporate university from the perspective of knowledge production may stimulate corporate universities to rethink their own goals as well as their position within the organisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-58
    JournalJournal of European industrial training
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Corporate ventures
    • Universities
    • Knowledge management
    • Learning organizations
    • Strategic alignment
    • The Netherlands


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