Universities in the knowledge economy: a comparative analysis of nested institutions

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Knowledge generation can catalyze local, regional, and national economic development. In the globalizing economy, governments are increasingly treating universities as strategic resources, and changing their policies towards them accordingly. In this article, universities are portrayed as organizations nested within broader institutional structures. A comparative analysis of nested institutions is presented. Changes in the ideas and actions of stakeholders concerning the role of universities are compared across five countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. The focus is placed on universities operating in an economically dynamic sub-region in each country. Attention is given to how different levels of government promote or inhibit innovative actions by universities and the organizations they partner with to commercialize research. Efforts to create regional knowledge economies effectively linked to the global marketplace are shown to have generated a range of tensions and dilemmas. Themes highlighted in this study are expected to emerge in discussions everywhere concerning the evolving role of universities in society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-353
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

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