The Triple Helix is a global model originating in developed economies but less developed countries have also made attempts to implement it into their national contexts. Meanwhile, the national context can be characterised by means-ends decoupling at the state level which implies that policies and practices of the state are disconnected from its core goal of creating public welfare. It refers to the oligarchic economies in which the state is captured by exploitative, rent-seeking oligarchies in business and politics. Ukraine is an example of such a country. Thus, the research question is: how did means-ends decoupling at the state level affect the implementation of the Triple Helix model in Ukraine? To answer the research question, we employed both rational choice institutionalism and sociological institutionalism. The data emanate from interviews with the senior managers of four universities and science parks established within them. The findings reveal that means-ends decoupling at the state level, caused by the rent-seeking behaviour of business and political oligarchies, led to the implementation of the Triple Helix model in Ukraine also reflecting a case of means-ends decoupling. The greater the institutional complexity experienced by the science park and the more the senior managers of the university and the science park maintain a logic of confidence in practices that deviate from the Triple Helix model, the greater rent-seeking and means-ends decoupling at the organisational level. Both rent-seeking and means-ends decoupling were found to not only hinder economic growth but also result in a diversion of human intellectual capital.