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The sustainability and serendipity of SCANCOR

Journal article
Authors Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist
Susse Georg
Published in Nordiske organisasjonsstudier
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 23-50
ISSN 1501-8237
Publication year 2013
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 23-50
Language en
Keywords Research institute, agencement, spatiality, materiality, stabilization
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

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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