Managing large collaborations in Europe: New challenges for cross-organizational management

Matteo Bonifacio, Maria Elena Bou Alameda, Mette Moensted

Producció científica: Contribució a una conferènciaContribució


The article is focusing on effective managing in networks and creating integration across knowledge organizations in different countries. The article takes as its point of departure the development of programmes in the EU. Up to now, the bulk of EU resources allocated to Research, Technology transfer and Development activities have been used to support the creation of networks of research organizations. These networks were traditionally of a small/medium size (5 to 15 partners), disciplinary focused, mainly based on public research organizations and with a short term horizon (2 to 4 years). Furthermore, they were based on a project focus (to execute a predefined set of activities) and characterized, at least formally, by a flat and loose governance model (partners with equal rights, no delegation to centralized governance structures). Examples of these are the Networks of Excellence and Integrated Projects that almost account for 80% of FP6 resources. Some recent trends are challenging this cooperation model. Joint Technology Initiatives as well as the EIT are based on large partnerships. They are interdisciplinary focused, have a long term horizon and view the strong if not dominant involvement of the business world. Furthermore, they are requested to manage a considerable amount of resources no longer on a project but rather on a program basis. Last, they are requested to adopt new governance models where formal legal structures are set up and managing roles are more clearly defined. The establishment and management of these pan-European partnerships is unprecedented. Therefore, these initiatives today face the risk not to have at their disposal appropriate organization and management reference models. Besides the experimentation that will occur along the life time of these initiatives, there is a lack of literature and analysis on the management and governance of pan-EU research networks. This form of programmes are challenging as they stress the organisation in many ways, and create challenges for innovation processes, for knowledge sharing, for governance structures and management. A number of pilot projects have been established, and results from the first survey and case studies of collaboration are presented. The article will be based on the findings of the Pilot Projects for Cooperation between European Institutes of Technology. The methodology is based on literature review, action research, ethnographic analysis, case studies. The emphasis is on collaboration models and networks, knowledge management. The findings from the data suggest some challenges, and need for combining methods from management, networking and knowledge management perspectives. The results may provide a useful contribution to the design of the next generation of FP8 actions, which implies that the article will be using the empirical evidence as input for the policy making, but the cases are also an interesting and important input to the understanding of cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary and cross country collaborations, which will be used for theoretical reflections on management of collaborations and creating space for knowledge creation and space for knowledge management.
Idioma originalAnglès
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 26 d’abr. 2009
Esdeveniment2009 International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC) -
Durada: 26 d’abr. 200928 d’abr. 2009


Conferència2009 International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC)


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