Coordinating Flows of Organisational Knowledge: The Role of the Corporate University
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRussian Management Journal. 2017, 15 (1), 51-68. 10.21638/11701/spbu18.2017.103
This paper seeks to advance the understanding of the corporate university phenomenon by addressing the role that a corporate university plays in coordinating the flows of organisational knowledge. Drawing on the longitudinal in-depth case study of Severstal Corporate University, we illustrate how a corporate university contributes to dynamic knowledge management in the company by serving as a coordinator of its knowledge flows. The study provides evidence of how a corporate university — by performing three different knowledge-coordinating roles — operates as a corporate function to support evolving business strategies during different periods of organisational development. The findings suggest the following roles of a corporate university are related to the coordination of knowledge flows: knowledge-harmonising, knowledge-disseminating, and knowledge-centralising. As a result of the study, a corporate university appears as a dynamic concept with development stages that can be explained from a teleological rather than life cycle perspective. That is, a corporate university’s development is driven by its changing purpose and goals that are constructed and reconstructed according to the evolving knowledge needs of its parent company.