University, science and the new (and old) academic roles: inner sources of institutional resilience / Universidade, ciência e os novos (e antigos) papéis acadêmicos: fontes internas de resiliência institucional

Elizabeth Balbachevsky, Vuokko Kohtamäki


This paper parallels the changes experienced by universities and science at the beginning of the new century in order to explore one relevant source of resilience and change inside the universities’ institutional fabric, which is its persistent dependence on the signs and norms produced by science as a nested institution. In no small degree, science is organized according to its norms and values. Notwithstanding, it de facto exists inside the institutional environment created by the university.  As such, one could argue that it is a nested institution. Our argument holds that the interplay between the institutional norms coming from the university and science gives rise to one of the more relevant sources of resilience of universities. The paper explores the soundness of these assumptions on primary data collected in a research focusing on the responses of lower-level academic unit leaders in two universities: the University of Tampere, Finland, and the University of São Paulo, Brazil. In each case, we explore the local responses to the changes engendered by autonomy as a proxy of the substantial change in the university's environment, to map how the small academic units respond to a quickly changing external environment.


Este artigo traça um paralelo entre as mudanças experimentadas pelas universidades e pela ciência no início do novo século, a fim de explorar uma fonte relevante de resiliência e mudança na trama institucional das universidades, que é sua persistente dependência dos direcionamentos e normas produzidas pela ciência enquanto instituição aninhada. Em grande parte, a ciência se organiza conforme suas normas e valores. Não obstante, ela existe de fato dentro do ambiente institucional criado pela universidade. Assim, poder-se-ia argumentar que é uma instituição aninhada. Argumentamos aqui que a interação entre as normas institucionais oriundas da universidade e da ciência produz uma das fontes mais relevantes de resiliência das universidades. O artigo explora a validez dessas premissas com base em dados primários coletados em uma pesquisa focada nas respostas de líderes de unidades acadêmicas menores em duas universidades: a Universidade de Tampere, na Finlândia, e a Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil. Em cada caso, exploramos as respostas locais às mudanças geradas pela autonomia como proxy da mudança substancial no ambiente da universidade, para mapear como as unidades acadêmicas específicas respondem a um ambiente externo que muda rapidamente.


Brazil, Finland, University’s resilience, nested institutions, science’s institutional logics, NPM’s logics, Brasil, Finlândia, resiliência da universidade, instituições aninhadas, lógicas institucionais da ciência

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