chapter  7
Necessary myths
Universities and knowledge
Pages 16

This chapter explores the significance of myths of this kind in organisations and the ways in which leaders, managers and other staff in a university can generate and make use of myth. Attention then turns to a first central area of myth, surrounding the kinds of knowledge with which the university deals. The nature of those ends changes over time and is influenced by a number of stakeholder interests and wishes, both within and beyond the institution. The dominant contemporary expectation is that universities should prove their economic usefulness in the knowledge economy, developing and maintaining a place in a 'triple helix' of government, industry and universities. Burton Clark described very strong institutional cultures as 'organisational saga'. Participants would relate strongly to their institution by seeing their practices 'as the expression of a unified and unique approach that has been devised by hard work and struggle'.