23 SES 03 B, Educational Research and Policy
Parallel Paper Session
This paper is embedded in discussions of the knowledge-based economy and the consequence of economization of education. These developments are discussed in terms of economization of science (Weingart 2008) as well as knowledge and science as goods (Balzer 2003). Most discussions are focused on the changing knowledge production on the university as well as their relationship to their recipients (cf. Gibbons et al, 1994; Etzkowitz et.al.1998). On this basis the paper goes a step further and investigates other, non-academic knowledge producers and their role in producing educational knowledge in economical terms.
We can observe that consulting agencies have an increasing role in producing educational (research) knowledge and defining it as their institutional expertise both in Germany and in English speaking countries. The ‘knowledge-based economy’ opens the stage for institutions which create and disseminate knowledge beside traditional research institutions and producers (Geuna 1999), hence as well as consulting agencies. We start from the assumption that educational knowledge production might be framed in these institutions by economical terms which aim at the commercialization of knowledge. This emphasizes rather ‘exchange-value’ of the knowledge than its ‘use-value’ by peers (Lawn & Keiner, 2006, 158). There is a strong indication, that policy and public demands steer knowledge production and the relevance of this knowledge is determinate by “what works for the economy” (Ozga, 2008, 265; and also Kogan, 2005).
This paper is embedded in a major research project which focuses on the institutionalisation of consulting agencies by producing educational knowledge in Germany: McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Roland Berger. Against this background we are taking an international as well as a German perspective. We describe educational knowledge in the mode of consulting agencies in two perspectives, using their open accessible documents on education. In a first step we describe the public legitimacy of the consulting agencies on the basis of corporate social responsibility concept (Carroll 1999). In the second step we describe the presentation and reception of educational knowledge regarding to the concept of impression management (cf. Mumnendy 1995).
The research objective of this paper is to analyze network relations of consulting agencies as producers of educational research knowledge and their recipients in policy and public. This approach enables to identify the recipients in public and policy as well as the hybrid cooperation of knowledge production. These networks can turn into “obligatory point of passage” (Legge, 2002, Armbrüster et.al. 2010 S.38) in public decision making processes on educational issues.
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