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The sustainability and serendipity of SCANCOR

Conference paper
Authors Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist
Susse Georg
Published in Paper presented at NFF, Reykjavik, 21-23 August, 2013.
ISSN 2298-3112
Publication year 2013
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Language en
Keywords Research institute, agencement, spatiality, materiality, stabilization
Subject categories Business Administration


This paper addresses the question of what it takes to build a research institute. This is exemplified by the development of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR). SCANCOR is conceptualized as an ”agencement”, that is to say, as a hybrid collective of people, perspectives, place and material devices that together have a capacity to act. We focus on three spatial domains of particular importance for building and stabilizing, both figuratively and literally, SCANCOR. Over time SCANCOR has morphed from a handful of people tied together through mutual intellectual interests and letters of invitation to visit James G. March to a formal entity with an organizational charter, web page, membership and payment rules, a distinct visual presence and a growing number of people labeled visiting scholars. Although the interweaving of ideas, spatiality, materiality and action SCANCOR has stabilized as a research entity well worth visiting, it is vulnerable in the sense that its attractiveness depends on a continued flow of visiting scholars who bring and develop new ideas, and then take these ideas back home. Even though the place allows for a gentle programming of scholarly interaction and collaboration, the ways in which these unfold are serendipitous.

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