Between Good Intentions and Enthusiastic Professors: The Missing Middle of University Social Innovation Structures in the Quadruple Helix

Paul Benneworth, Jorge Cunha, Ridvan Cinar

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

This chapter considers the role of universities in stimulating social innovation, and in particular the issue that despite possessing substantive knowledge that might be useful for stimulating social innovation, universities to date have not been widely engaged in social innovation activities in the context of Quadruple Helix developmental models. We explain this in terms of the institutional logics of engaged universities, in which entrepreneurial logics have emerged in recent decades, that frame the desirable forms of university-society engagement in terms of the economic benefits they bring. We ask whether institutional logics could explain this resistance of universities to social innovation. Drawing on two case studies of universities sincerely committed to supporting social innovation, we chart the effects of institutional logics on university-supported social innovation. We observe that there is a “missing middle” between enthusiastic managers and engaged professors, in which four factors serve to undermine social innovation activities becoming strategically important to HEIs. We conclude by noting that this missing middle also serves to segment the operation of Quadruple Helix relationships, thereby undermining university contributions to societal development more generally.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCenter for Higher Education Policy Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRUNIN Working Paper Series
No.03
Volume2021

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