& marketing
Challenges for the Knowledge Society
ISSN 2069–8887
ISSN-L 1842-0206
The official journal of the
Society for Business Excellence
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Management & Marketing no. 4/2008

Linking the double helix of learning and work to the triple helix of university – industry – government in the Europe of knowledge
Abstract. The present paper presents results of research in progress. Its purpose is to highlight the relevance of the helix logic for the understanding and speeding up of the processes of innovation and learning in the knowledge based society with a particular emphasis on the European higher education and research area, more specifically Romania. Two representative models are presented and considered promising for their applications in education and research strategizing: the „Double Helix” of Learning and Work and, respectively, the „Triple Helix” of University-Industry-Government. The paper is based on (1) the authors' experience in Romanian higher education, from various university management positions to government positions related to higher education and (2) the author’s experience of dealing with the business environment during the transition, experience encompassing areas from policy generation and implementation to evaluation of projects and research. This experience is captured by a critical exploration of the realities addressed in the paper and turned into an academic piece of qualitative research by using the conceptual artefacts approach. The specific difference the paper presents consists of providing a common framework for analysis for the two models which are based on the same logic, but were developed in different contexts both from a conceptual and an operational point of view. The paper also puts forward the hypothesis of the convergence of the two models with arguments that contribute to including the issues presented on the research agenda of the sociology of science and the theory of the policies fostering learning and innovation. The conceptual limits of the Triple Helix model are underlined, as well as the distortions that might appear during the implementation under real conditions of the partnership for innovation among universities, industry and government. Some elements of qualitative diagnosis of the degree of Romania’s readiness for the adoption of the Triple Helix model are also presented. The paper puts forward the proposition for the convergence of the two models for further international research and study with the very practical view of finding means to render this proposal operational at both institutional and strategic levels.
Keyword: double helix of learning and work; the triple helix of university – industry – government; emerging economies; university governance; higher education quality; triple helix of university – industry – government.
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