Knowledge transfer to and from quality management of teaching & learning at universities (WiaQM)



Prof. Dr. Bettina Langfeldt (head of project) (University of Kassel)

Julia Brose (researcher)

Alexandra Hertwig  (Support: Forschungsinformationsdienst & Spezialbibliothek)

Dorith Müller (student assistant)



Prof. Dr. Isabel Steinhardt (head of project) (University of Paderborn)

Dr. Sylvi Mauermeister (researcher)

Paula Sieberg (student assistant)

funded by

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


2022 - 2025

Knowledge production is considered a complex process that takes place under uncertainty and requires a high tolerance for ambiguity. This is especially true for quality management (QM) at universities, where research, teaching and administration, i.e. organizational areas with diverging functional logics, have to work closely together. The generation, use and transfer of scientific knowledge in QM units as recipients and exploiters of knowledge from science and higher education research have hardly been investigated so far. The same applies to the role of QM units as transmitters, which produce knowledge and transfer it into their own institutions and back to the scientific community. However, the analysis of this reciprocal transfer process can be considered central to enhancing the performance of universities, enabling evidence-based governance, and increasing the sustainability of science and higher education research. The project therefore takes a close lookvat the interrelationship of organizational structure, micro-policies and the transfer of knowledge into and out of the QM of teaching and learning. Methodologically, a sequential mixed-methods design is used for this purpose, combining bibliometric mapping and research trails, document and instrument analyses, problem-centered interviews, and a standardized online survey. The overarching heuristic approach used to interpret the data is taken from Crozier and Friedberg (1995), who view organizations as collective structures created by actors and modified by micropolitical actions to achieve specific goals.  In addition, the transfer processes will be examined in light of the organizational theory question of whether we can continue to assume a loose (Orton & Weick 1990) or tighter (Hüther & Krücken 2016) coupling of organizational areas at universities and which structure proves to be more advantageous for knowledge transfer.