In this provocative and broad-ranging work, the authors argue that the ways in which knowledge - scientific, social and cultural - is produced are undergoing fundamental changes at the end of the twentieth century. They claim that these changes mark a distinct shift into a new mode of knowledge production which is replacing or reforming established institutions, disciplines, practices and policies. Identifying features of the new mode of knowledge production - reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, heterogeneity - the authors show how these features connect with the changing role of knowledge in social relations. While the knowledge produced by research and development in science and technology is accorded central concern, the

Reconfiguring Institutions

Reconfiguring institutions


This chapter deals with the process of institutionalisation under the conditions of the dynamics displayed by current knowledge production. The universities especially are at the core of present changes and strains since they still are the institutions mainly responsible for the training of specialists. We examine how the flexibility of Mode 2 knowledge production impinges upon their institutional structures and procedures, including the maintenance and change of quality control, how they cope with the strains of multifunctionality, what is entailed by what we call the pluralisation of the elite function, and finally, what the new institutional landscape of knowledge production looks like.

Knowledge producing, knowledge mediating and knowledge diffusing institutions have proliferated since 1945. Universities and university-like establishments of higher education, professional societies, ...

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