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Knowledge Triangle Configurations at Three Swedish Universities

Eugenia Perez Vico (), Sylvia Schwaag Serger (), Emily Wise () and Mats Benner ()
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Eugenia Perez Vico: Lund University, and Halmstad University (Sweden)
Sylvia Schwaag Serger: Swedish Government Agency for Innovation, and Lund University (Sweden)
Emily Wise: Lund University (Sweden)
Mats Benner: Royal Institute of Technology, and Lund University (Sweden)

Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), 2017, vol. 11, issue 2, 68-82

Abstract: The concept of a knowledge triangle, i.e., the principle of strengthening the linkages between research, education and innovation, has emerged as a result of policymakers’ expectations that universities to assume broader social responsibility. Yet, little is known about how these tasks and their interactions are orchestrated at universities. We explore how they are manifested in the organisation and strategy of three different Swedish universities, and how these manifestations are shaped by the policy landscape. The article highlights that although the knowledge triangle remains a priority, explicit national policies are lacking, with the responsibility of integration falling upon universities themselves. We observe great diversity in how the principles of knowledge production are implemented at the universities, e.g., through individuals’ interpretations and attitudes, and through management strategies and incentive schemes. The three tasks have largely been handled separately, with weak coordination and generally limited ambition demonstrated by university management teams to forge new combinations of remits. At the individual and group levels, we observe weak task articulation, although some role models serve as inspiration. Tensions emerge as the responsibilities of operationalising the knowledge triangle falls on individuals who sometimes lack the appropriate mandate and resources. These findings raise questions for further research and implications for policy and university management.

Keywords: knowledge triangle; university management; third mission; social innovations; scientific excellence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 O21 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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