The Impact Of Innovation On The Performance Of The Modern University
In the current economic context, innovation is seen as a result of interactions between different actors of innovative systems. Through this work we aimed to illustrate the fact that fulfilling the third mission of the modern university, contributing to economic and social development is possible only by anchoring it in a new model that includes variables identified in the scientific literature. Anchoring the modern university in an adaptive strategy based on the orientation towards collaboration for permanent research and innovation is the key to competitiveness in the European economy. Achieving the European goals on the development of a smart, sustainable economy and favorable to the inclusion is possible through the involvement of the university in partnership founded on mutual interests and benefits in innovative systems where graduates have professional, scientific research and social skills to integrate quickly and effectively in the labor market and academics put in value their capabilities in research-developmentinnovation area.
Keywords: Adaptive university,innovation systemsthe third mission of modern universitypartnership
In terms of the transition from modern to postmodern society, the university must adapt to achieve
increased efficiency and effectiveness through internal transformation of governance, management,
flexibility, organizational structure. The transition to postmodernism has also led to changing the
university's mission by adding a new feature, respectively contributing to social and economic
development of the nation.
Fulfilling the third mission of the modern university, the contribution to economic and social
development can be possible only through a complex process of transforming the organizational
environment by forming a collaborative culture with the economic environment. The effectiveness of
organizational university environment requires innovation as a strategic objective that can be met only
through the involvement of the university in partnership with the socio-economic environment within
In order to identify the variables to be included in a model of success for the performance of the
third mission of modern university, we have developed an approach for identifying in specialized
literature patterns of academic entrepreneurship, concrete successful ways of university – academic
environment partnership that supports innovation, models for intra and inter-organizational knowledge
transfer, empirical studies on the empirical studies on the effect of the transfer of knowledge on academic
2.Entrepreneurial, Adaptive University - Important Player in Local Economic and Social Development
Universities are complex organizations that carry out a variety of activities with economic impact;
they act as employers, create knowledge, form human capital, make the transfer of know-how, research
for technological innovation, capital investment, have impact on regional environment and support
knowledge infrastructure ( Drucker & Goldstein, 2007).
In response to the influences of external environmental factors involving new organizational
structures, procedures and new relationships at strategic, tactical and operational level and a new way of
allocating resources, Sporn ( 2001) proposed the concept of
of the academic enterprise are thus perceived as being significant to the regeneration and transformation
of the regions” ( Arbo & Benneworth, 2007, p. 18). Etzkowitz et al. ( 2000) points out that the financial
support of the university by the state, allocation of public funding for scientific research in universities is
influenced by the direct contribution of research to community development, stimulating regional
The impact of the university's contribution to economic and social development can be revealed
through the process of creating shared value (CSV) by connecting university activity with the activities of
individual stakeholders. The analysis of the university processes which lead to obtain superior value for
all stakeholders was initiated by Clark (1998, 2004), continued by Rothaermel et al. ( 2007) and Gibb et
al. (2009) ho outlined the coordinates of entrepreneurial university.
Aranha & Garcia ( 2014) are the authors of
highlights the impact of entrepreneurial university in modern society. In achieving this model, it was
started from studies made by Clark (1998, 2004) which emphasized the entrepreneurial pathway of
university, studies made by Etzkowiz (2001, 2004) referring to norms of the entrepreneurial university,
Kirby’s research (2006) who described the strategic actions of entrepreneurial university and the studies
made by Rothaermel et al. ( 2007) which revealed the conceptual framework of entrepreneurial university.
The innovative contributions of the proposed metamodel are:
- Entrepreneurial vision which is considered a strategic component of the entrepreneurial university;
- The process of creating shared value - CSV as a new relating framework of the university with its
stakeholders that ensure economic, social and cultural development of the region.
The structural components used as support in designing the metamodel of entrepreneurial
university proposed by Aranha & Garcia ( 2014, p. 340) are:
successfully fulfill the function of teaching and research and the role of an economic, social and cultural
for the region by creating new businesses, technological parks and encouraging innovative ecosystem;
interest areas of the university, business development, technological parks, innovative ecosystems,
promote the legal and ethical framework meant to conduct the environmental behavior of people within
the university entrepreneurship;
programs, projects and training of entrepreneurial skills essential in the development of entrepreneurial
behavior, designing incentive strategies to develop entrepreneurial attitudes within and outside the
3.University – Business Environment Partnership, Innovation Tool in Knowledge
Economy and Support Of Economic Development
3.1.Innovation, Innovation Systems
Innovation means creating successful value through exploitation of new knowledge. It should not
be equated with invention ( Freeman, 1982). He noted that "an invention is an idea, a sketch or model for
a new device, product, process or improved system "while" an innovation in the economic sense refers to
the first commercial transaction involving a new product, process, system or device".(Freeman, 1982,
p.7). Innovation can be administered in different ways in different contexts.
In Roos opinion ( 2007), research is transforming money into new knowledge offered to
businesses, industry and the world and innovation is turning knowledge into money by adapting or
adopting, by the organization, something new that turns into products, services, processes, systems,
structures, brands, IP, etc., namely all that client and/or consumer is willing to pay or anything that can
reduce the cost to serve a client / consumer.
The current economical context interaction between actors in innovation systems can lead to
economic success. In Porter’s opinion, the factors that define the economic success of a region, so-called
"Porter diamond" and that should be reflected in innovative systems, are: the availability of resources,
access to information, the objectives of each organization, organizations need to innovate in order to
invest. Starting from the theory of competitive advantage of Porter and by considering the concepts of
individual and institutional learning (interactivity, networks), Guth (2006) developed the New Diamond
of innovation. In the 90’s, a systemic view of innovation has been promoted by Lundvall ( 1992) and
Innovation systems built as assemblies made up of institutions that support learning, research,
exploitation can be analyzed at the micro, meso and macro level, namely:
- At micro level - through an organization's ability to interact with one or more organizations to get
value in the value chain as a result of work carried out within the innovation system;
- At meso level – through the ability of companies with common characteristics of relating in a
particular industry, geographic area and functional point of view;
- At macro level – through the ability to create a network of sectoral clusters which interact on the
following streams of knowledge:
a) Interactions between businesses;
b) Interactions between businesses, universities and public research institutes, including joint research,
co-patenting, co-publications and informal links;
c) Other interactions with innovation support institutions, such as those related to financing of
innovation, technical training, research and engineering facilities, marketing services, etc.;
d) Technology diffusion, namely rates of adoption by industry of new technologies through machinery
e) Staff mobility, focusing on key personnel movement within and between public and private sectors.
OCDE considers that innovation has an important contribution to economic growth through
intensive in knowledge goods and services. A key element of competitiveness in the knowledge economy
is "interconnection" between companies, universities and governments. For Romanian reality, triple helix
model of thinking must be changed by adding the fourth actor - Four clover model (Guth & Cosnita,
2010) represented by institutions as a catalyst: service providers in the field of innovation and technology
transfer, technology transfer centers, chambers of commerce.
Universities are interested to develop active partnerships with the business environment that
benefits both sides. "It is necessary for universities to collaborate with regional and local businesses to
develop new and innovative business” Smart (2009, p.307). Long-term collaboration between academia
and industry is considered profitable because frequent interactions have wider benefits ( Lee, 2005).
Because the objectives, the cultures and their constraints are different and more difficult to understand by
the other side, the collaboration between universities and industry must be stronger ( Siegel et al., 2007).
Mutual success is possible if the value obtained by dynamic collaboration is greater than the unique
interactions ( Burnside, & Witkin, 2008). Collaboration between two different organizations involves
people with different competences, knowledge, experiences and points of view, which is important for
innovation. However, there is a gap in the contextual understanding between the people from the two
different organizations and there are difficulties to ensure efficient communication to resolve issues,
misunderstandings and preconceptions. This points to the need to create a collaborative culture, common
meeting places and effective communication in order to understand the different perspectives of the
university–industry collaboration and create a stable long-term collaborative relationship (Wallin et al.,
3.2. Successful Concrete Ways of University – Business Environment Partnership And Innovation Support
Empirical studies on the effect of the transfer of knowledge on academic performance show mixed
- There is a positive relationship between performance in knowledge transfer between academia and
industry alliance ( Breschi et al, 2006).
- Theoretical studies suggest that alliances are needed to address market failures innovation,
particularly those relating to basic research (Poyago-Thetoky et.al., 2002)
- Knowledge transfer from university to industry may cause changes in long-term objectives of the
university related to research activity because it’s put in a position to solve the industry's problems in the
short term and to reduce intellectual freedom related to research agenda and scope of applying research
results ( Martin, & Etzkowitz, 2000).
- In the context of university collaboration with industry in research, applied research will be more
advanced than basic research which is considered the main axis of university research agenda (Lee,
1996), and this aspect influences the financial support of the government offered for research activity in
research activity. The priority of the university is to disseminate knowledge, while industry’s one is to
obtain patent for results of research conducted in collaboration with the university (Jelenik & Markham,
2007) and to block the publication of research results on the grounds of protecting intellectual property.
- Concerning the effect of knowledge transfer from university to industry on industry performance,
empirical studies show that the transfer is mostly informal through citation patent (Hall, & Ziedonis,
2001), and the creation of spin-offs (Link, & Scott, 2005).
- The alliance success between university and industry in research is affected by decisions relating to
research and project management. A study conducted by Monjon & Waelbroeck ( 2003) in French
companies found that collaboration with universities in an alliance enhances radical innovation for the
company. These research results are offset by Sung (2005), who demonstrated that cooperation within the
alliance had no significant effect on the company's innovation in general in Korea.
- Van Wijk et al. (2008) and Martinkenaite ( 2011) conducted a critical review of the literature to
provide information related to research on intra and inter-organizational transfer of knowledge. They
concluded that integrative model of knowledge transfer between academia and industry is still unclear
and there were no quantitative studies to provide empirical evidence to explain the relationship between
related variables ( Van Wijk et al., 2008). To understand how organizations can be organized to obtain
benefits through the transfer of knowledge it is necessary to develop empirical studies that focus on
integrative model of knowledge transfer between industry and university. In fact there is not yet a
systematic overview and a mechanism of result and basic knowledge transfer.
- Industrial clustering is a source of regional advantage ( Garcia, & Sapsed, 2011) because it allows
access to important resources, developing more efficient links of value chain, an innovative climate.
Although industrial clusters have gained importance, there are still debates on what to do for them to
become sustainable and which would be the best ways to support them.
Anatan ( 2013) develops a model for knowledge transfer based on conceptual and empirical literature
review, based on two conclusions. The first conclusion is that knowledge transfer is influenced by
knowledge transfer (tacitness, asset specificity, complexity, experience, protectiveness partner, cultural
and organizational distance);
which has the role of supporting the process of knowledge creation;
development and creation of knowledge within the business unit;
knowledge coming from the external environment;
relational dimension (common objectives and cultures), cognitive dimension.
The second conclusion drawn is that the relationship between the transfer of knowledge and level of
institutionalization of knowledge transfer activities is influenced by the organizational uncertainty level.
Anchoring modern university in an adaptive strategy based on the orientation towards the
collaboration between research and permanent innovation is the key to competitiveness in the European
economy. There is no universally valid model for implementing adaptive strategy by modern university.
The studies identified in the literature presents a number of variables that can be inserted into innovative
model of adaptation of modern university in the in the ever-changing requirements of economic and
In our view, the steps along the way to increase performances of modern university through
innovative adaptation are:
-Analyzing the ability of the university to interact with key stakeholders to achieve value in the value
chain as a result of work carried out within the innovation system;
-Analyzing the ability of the university to relate in a particular industry, geographic area and a
-The interconnection between the economic and industrial environment – university - government as
the basis of innovation;
-Developing partnerships between academia and industry at the strategic, tactical and operational
level, within which to exploit its complementarities and mutual advantage to generate profit;
-Creating a culture of collaboration between academia and industry as the foundation of sustainable
collaboration that highlight the skills, knowledge, experiences, viewpoints, ideas for innovation of
academics and industry. For the university there are required in this regard actions related to: allocating
resources to successfully fulfill the function of teaching and research and the role of an economic, social
and cultural agent within a flexible internal environment; implementation of entrepreneurial vision and
tracking to streamline the processes at all levels of the university; innovative ecosystem development;
transfer of results of fundamental scientific and applied research towards the business environment;
promoting individual and institutional learning concepts within joint projects with other industry
organizations to harmonize interests on scientific research.
The factors that may support an attractive and innovative partnership between universities and business
environment represent an organizational culture based on the values of entrepreneurship, a shared vision
for the use of own resources to create hared added value, the specific role of each partner correlated with
the level of expertise of the people involved.
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