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Liudvika Leišytė

University Governance and Academic Research

Case studies of research units in Dutch and English universities

Stack of books, next to it a pad, a pen and glasses © HdHf​/​TU Dortmund

Leišytė, L. (2007). University governance and academic research: Case studies of research units in Dutch and English universities. Thesis. Enschede: University of Twente.

ISBN 978-90-365-2586-2

Online available


The central research question of our study addresses the effects of governing models on the research practices of basic research units in public universities in the fields of medieval history and biotechnology. We have used two organisational theories: resource dependence and neo-institutional theory. They provided a range of possible responses of research units to changes in institutional environments. Based on the work of Oliver (1991) we have distinguished three organisational strategies: passive compliance, symbolic compliance and proactive manipulation. In order to interpret the perceptions, responses of the basic research units and the consequences for their research practices meaningfully, we have taken into account the particular characteristics of the world of research and science. For this purpose, we have used the credibility cycle model of the research organisation that was introduced by Latour and Woolgar (1979).

Our analysis has shown that respondents in all cases of our study perceive their institutional environments as changing. All eight basic research units in the two countries respond to their changing institutional environments by attempting to reduce uncertainty as predicated by resource dependence theory and to maintain stability in their core activities as predicted by neo-institutional theory. They also try to maximise their credibility building prospects by either adhering to the rules and norms of their (changing) institutional environments or by actively engaging in a dialogue with their audiences, especially with their major resource providers. In their responses the basic research units are using different strategies from passive and symbolic compliance to pro-active manipulation. All research units prefer to maintain stability in their activities, but not all of them have been equally successful in this respect. This study has shown that shifts in governance influence research practices to a certain extent.

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

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