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Guest talk

Dr. Ben Kokkeler

(BMC Group, The Netherlands)

Distributed Aacademic Leadership in Emergent Research Organisations

Nowadays' occurrences in the science landscape are results of long term developments, showing pathways that result from and inform practices of academics that perform leadership activities. In interaction with pathways new forms of research strategy development and leadership evolve. Leadership practices of a more or less distributed nature, dispersed over time and social space that enable academic leaders to accept complexity and duality of transformation, and in their distributed activities de facto anticipate accordingly in a more or less concerted way.

Ben Kokkeler's presentation builds on his research on recent history of university transformation and distributed academic leadership, aimed to understand emergent research organisation development, distributed leadership and its interrelation with organisational change, and add to further research by delivering concepts and analytical models. The research approach is based on longitudinal empirical research of a process-oriented nature in context. It comprises three case studies that cover the years 1990 – 2005 about evolving distributed leadership arrangements and leadership learning spaces in areas of nanotechnology, IT and Open Systems. Ben has been an observing participant in research organisations over the last thirty years.

In his presentation and dialogue with the colloquium participants, he will focus on the theme of ambidexterity, here: the organisational and distributed leadership balancing-act between exploration and exploitation and organisational change. Addressing the question: do the concepts of ambidexterity and distributed leadership apply for research organisations? Based on his research he will critically assess the applicability, the interrelations with contrasting dynamics and issues of scale in organizational change.

Ben Kokkeler is senior advisor and expert group leader Open Innovation at the BMC Group in The Netherlands. He studied at the University of Twente, the University of Amsterdam and the Radboud University (Nijmegen) and holds a Master degree in Urban and Regional Planning. In October 2014 he defends his PhD thesis on "distributed academic leadership in emergent research organisations" at the University of Twente, supervised by professors Arie Rip and Stefan Kuhlmann (Science, Technology and Policy Studies) and Olaf Fischer (Organisation Studies and Business Ethics). Prior to working with the BMC Group, Ben worked for more than 20 years at Dutch and German universities and research institutes. Positions that he held include director of International Affairs and director of the Graduate School at the University of Twente, Rektorats Projektleiter Hochschulmarketing at the University of Dortmund, and Secretary to the Board of a European consortium of universities (ECIU, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities).

Wednesday, 9 July 2014, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

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".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan