The Capitalization of Knowledge: A Triple Helix of University‐Industry‐Government

Anne Murphy (Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




Murphy, A. (2011), "The Capitalization of Knowledge: A Triple Helix of University‐Industry‐Government", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 648-651.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This book is essentially a compilation from 22 contributing authors including the two editors. It includes three articles, which were published previously in journals and for which permission to reproduce has been achieved. Some chapters are updated versions of papers presented at the 5th Triple Helix Conference in Turin in 2005. The remaining chapters are newly written, or new version of older conference papers.

This approach to compiling a book is becoming quite common now and indeed is a practical and efficient way of selecting only material that is relevant to the title and which has already had either formal or informal peer review among the community of scholars for the particular field. The approach also gives a publishing opportunity to authors who have said something interesting at a conference or who may have published in a medium with less of a potential readership. These authors are unlikely to have been to the forefront of editors' minds if they were compiling a list of authors based on current public profile, and thus many useful and relevant ideas may never have been disseminated to a global readership.

The editorial task in a book such as this is somewhat easier than in a compilation of totally new work since they can select only what suits the purpose of the book and what requires only light revision or updating by authors. In addition, they need deal only with the ideas in the text and not need to court authors into writing precisely what is required and nothing else. They can also target chapters from a wide range of authors and across all continents without the need for expensive workshops and meetings.

For the reader, the outcomes of compilation exercise such as this book provides an accessible and neat way of spanning a range of different ideas in chapters from 12 different countries, each with its own reference list and examples. As an educator working in the very complex field of work‐related learning and higher education policy, I welcome compilations from multiple authors held together by thoughtful and discerning editors.

The introductory chapter, written by the editors, is a no‐nonsense description of the double‐ and triple‐helix approaches to research and development in the 2009 economic context of decline and recession. While there have been some significant developments in global economies since then – mostly in the negative – the arguments the editors are making is still sustainable: that the public or government dimension in the triple helix is both inevitable and desirable, particularly in times of crisis, if sufficient industry‐university collaboration and new knowledge generation are to be sustained to ensure economic growth.

The aim of the chapters is described as an examination of how knowledge is being capitalised in new relationships between the university, industry and the state across different socio‐political cultures and political institutions. The book promises to identify the key players in these collaborations – scientists, politicians, civil servants, agency officers, industrialists, lobby groups, social movements and society – and the various strategies being applied to influence policy on several levels. The book asks of this represents a new paradigm and if researchers need to re‐position themselves and their various world views accordingly within a new sense of their identity as technology‐driven researchers rather than enquiry‐driven researchers. The introductory chapter takes a turn at this point and focuses on indices for measuring research and innovation in universities, mostly in relation to transfer of innovation and knowledge. The chapters are required to differently consider and debate these main challenges, selecting local case studies, which are generally related to global phenomena and trends. Much chapter space is given to defining forms of knowledge and how definitions determine conceptualisations and policy frameworks. There is, of course, no way of escaping these discourses since both double‐ and triple‐helix models become actualised around shared conceptualisations of “useful” knowledge and its capitalization in contexts!

The back cover book promises that the book will have widespread appeal to students and scholars of economics, sociology and business administration who specialize in entrepreneurship and innovation and that policymakers in innovation, industrial development and education will also find it useful. This is no doubt true. Particularly, it is true that those who are currently shaping the future of education, particularly higher education, should be acutely critically aware of mega‐trends and how education can be bent towards one seemingly authentic paradigm as easily as it can an opposite of contradictory paradigm. The speed of global change and the tardiness of higher education systems and structures to frame and appropriate response is probably urgent since so much global security into the future will depend on policy decisions taken now about a triple‐ or double‐helix model of economic development.

The compilation is a very useful resource indeed and one that could be recommended as essential reading for economist everywhere.

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