A new paradigm of knowledge production in higher education

John W. Moravec (Director, Leapfrog Institutes, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Publication date: 15 August 2008



This article seeks to introduce how the convergence of globalization, emergence of the knowledge society and accelerating change contribute to what might be best termed a new paradigm of knowledge production in higher education.


A review of the literature was conducted regarding the three driving trends of the new paradigm. Following a discussion on these trends, the new paradigm is discussed in relation to old and emergent paradigms of the twenty‐first and twenty‐second centuries.


The article concludes that the new paradigm requires a systems approach to thinking and leading in higher education.

Practical implications

This article provides a macro‐level perspective of the three phenomena as they impact higher education. Such perspectives provide insight to higher education leaders throughout the world on how tertiary institutions relate to the new paradigm of knowledge production. By putting the pieces of the new paradigm together, improved leadership directions for higher education and relevant policy actions may be identified to secure success through the twenty‐first century and beyond.


While the three component trends in the new paradigm are not unknown to the academic community, discussion of the trends as elements of a larger system is absent from most literature. Together, these new patterns of thought and belief are forming to harness and manage the chaos, indeterminacy, and complex relationships of the postmodern.



Moravec, J. (2008), "A new paradigm of knowledge production in higher education", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 123-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120810901422

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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