Understanding industry-university collaborations in emerging economies: A legitimacy perspective

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The need for universities to increasingly commercialise academic knowledge in addition to the two traditional core missions of research and teaching, has increased the relevance of industry-university collaboration (IUCs). Although research on IUCs has produced a significant body of knowledge explaining different factors that can enable or inhibit the success of IUCs, the nature of IUCs continues to remain poorly understood in emerging economies. The primary purpose of this paper was to extend our cumulative understanding of IUCs and how universities in emerging economies, can successfully make a transition to entrepreneurial universities. We drew upon insights from two streams of literature – legitimacy and industry-university collaboration (IUCs) – to develop an informed understanding of the phenomenon of IUCs and entrepreneurial university emergence in emerging economies of Africa. In particular, we apply the four typologies - personal, consequential, structural, and procedural - of the moral legitimacy perspective to IUCs and entrepreneurial university emergence. We propose how they can yield insights about the antecedents for successful IUCs in Africa emerging economies and the processes that can lead to the emergence of legitimate entrepreneurial universities. In highlighting the paper’s contributions to theory and practice, we suggest that just as research on IUCs benefits from applying organisational legitimacy perspective, so is organisational legitimacy informed by research arising within the field of IUCs studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Dec 2020

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