Community Engagement and Boundary-Spanning Roles at Research Universities

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university


Over the past decade, community engagement has emerged as an important priority among many colleges and universities. This study employs a multi-case study design to examine boundary spanning practices of research universities that have adopted a community engagement agenda. A model is advanced to conceptualize spanning behaviors and to inform practice and future research.


The authors:

” our analysis is unique in that it deconstructs the roles of various boundary spanning actors, and thus reveals how conflicts can occur in relation to differences in task roles and distance the community or university. While there is extensive writing and growing research on university-community partnerships (e.g., Amey, Brown, & Sandmann, 2002; Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, 1998; Jacoby, 2003; Maurrasse, 2001; and many more), boundary-spanning roles have not been conceptualized in such a detailed way as the present study. Our analysis helps practitioners consider how individual identities, skill sets, and distance to university/community may contribute to successful or unsuccessful boundary spanning efforts. Practically speaking, this knowledge may help practitioners create role differentiation strategies in order to develop more effective engagement practices both internally and externally. Such strategies may help leaders better mitigate conflicts with communities they serve and among spanners themselves.”


David J. Weerts  

David J. Weerts is Assistant Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota.

Lorilee R. Sandmann  

Lorilee R. Sandmann is an Associate Professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at the University of Georgia.



David J. Weerts. and Lorilee R. Sandmann. “Community Engagement and Boundary-Spanning Roles at Research Universities.” The Journal of Higher Education 81.6 (2010): 702-727. Project MUSE. Web. 6 Jan. 2013.



See on


About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

RSS Business School News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
Locations of Site Visitors
%d bloggers like this: