Signs of Convergence? Images of the University in the Management of R&D

This paper examines the adoption of university images in a pharmaceutical R&D company, arguing that this may be intended to bring benefits to management. The author finds some irony in this, identifying tendencies within the UK higher education system to draw on the images and the practices of business and commerce in its own management. Drawing on empirical data from interviews at Pharmco, the paper argues that, in practice, the image cannot be sustained and competition in the pharmaceutical sector is leading to a disparity between the projected image and management practice. Management in both types of organisation, it concludes, are responding to their respective environments by tightening control.

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