Towards A Shared Mission

Jørgen Staunstrup, Carsten Orth Gaarn-Larsen

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalPaperCommunication


A mission shared by stakeholders, management and employees is a prerequisite for an engaging dialog about the many and substantial changes and challenges currently facing universities. Too often this essen-tial dialog reveals mistrust and misunderstandings about the role and outcome of the universities. The sad result is that the dialog about university development, resources, leadership, governance etc. too often ends up in rather fruitless discussions and sometimes even mutual suspicion. This paper argues for having a dialog involving both internal and external stakeholders agreeing on a shared mission aiming at value creation (in the broadest interpretation). One important aspect of choosing value as the cornerstone of the mission of universities is to stress that the outcome is measured by external stakeholders and by their standards.
Most of the paper is devoted to discussing value in the context of universities. Although the economic aspects of value are important and cannot be ignored, we argue for a much richer interpretation of value that captures the many and varied results from universities.
A shared mission is a prerequisite for university management and leadership. It makes it possible to lead through processes that engage and excite while creating transparency and accountability.
The paper will be illustrated with examples from Denmark and the Helios initiative taken by the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) under the headline “The value creating university – courage to do more”. As an illustration we use the mission statement of the IT University of Copenhagen that has value creation as a key component.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 University-Industry Interaction Conference - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 27 May 201329 May 2013


Conference2013 University-Industry Interaction Conference
Internet address


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