Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems

Organizing the ‘productive transformation of knowledge’: linking university and industry in traditional manufacturing areas

Giacomo Balduzzi and Michele Rostan

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2016

The article aims at underlining the role played by extra-academic and autonomous organizations strongly connected with university institutions and researchers in producing, acquiring, transferring and transforming knowledge. The study examines a particular Italian case, the PolitecnicoCalzaturiero, a private institution providing technical training and research services operating in North-eastern Italy. The analysis of this experience suggests that, in traditional manufacturing areas, organizations playing a key role in managing the ‘productive transformation of knowledge’ may be neither universities nor firms. ‘Special organizations’, like the one discussed in this article, are deeply embedded in their economic and institutional environment, are closely interconnected within a dense and extended network of various actors, engage in complex and time-consuming processes, and can be understood as organizational relé, that is entities which are able to connect structures that are usually not connected. For these reasons, they represent an underestimated resource for universities’ third mission and its management.

Tertiary Education and Management, Routledge, Vol. 22, issue 1, pp. 19-35




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