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

innovative systems.

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 adaptive university. “More and more aspects

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 a metamodel of university entrepreneurship that

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:

Entrepreneurial vision of the university which is characterized by projecting the image and mission in an environment within a flexible internal environment with efficient structures and efficiency to

successfully fulfill the function of teaching and research and the role of an economic, social and cultural


Committed strategic leadership, respectively the commitment in implementing the entrepreneurial vision and pursuing the efficiency and flexibility of the activities at all levels of the university;

Generation of innovative knowledge which involves the development of programs, projects and actions to form skills, reformulating curricula and strategies for teaching and learning, generating benefits

for the region by creating new businesses, technological parks and encouraging innovative ecosystem;

Capitalization and innovative knowledge, namely transforming the results of basic scientific research and applied research in financial, economic and social assets and their transfer to organizations;

Economic, social and cultural development of theregion by rethinking products, services, redefining productivity in the value chain, development of clusters, innovative ecosystems, industrial parks in the

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;

Integrated entrepreneurial culture by institutionalizing the tools and mechanisms that contribute to raising awareness of employees dependent on the principles of entrepreneurship, development of

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

Nelson (1993).

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

and equipment;

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

Figure 1:
See Full Size >

4.Empirical Findings

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, 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


- There are differences of interest related to different priorities of the university and industry related to

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 :

a) The ambiguity level of knowledge , namely on the conditions that influence the process of

knowledge transfer (tacitness, asset specificity, complexity, experience, protectiveness partner, cultural

and organizational distance);

b) Organization size, namely the number of employees and the intellectual capital of the organization

which has the role of supporting the process of knowledge creation;

c) Organizational age which determines the limits of the organization's ability to learn and adapt to a

changing environment;

d) Organizational decentralization, namely the autonomy of each unit of organization for the

development and creation of knowledge within the business unit;

e) Absorption capacity , namely an organization's ability to identify, assimilate and apply new forms of

knowledge coming from the external environment;

f) Structural dimension (the level of high quality trust and commitment and intense communications)

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

social environment.

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

functional perspective;

-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.


  1. Anatan, L. (2013). A proposed framework of university to industry knowledge transfer UIKT, Review of
  2. Integrative Business & Economics Research vol. 2 (2)
  3. Aranha, E. A., Garcia, N. A. P. (2014). Dimension of a metamodel of an entrepreneurial university,
  4. African Journal of Business Management, vol. 8 (10), 336-349, doi 105897/AJBM 2013.7101
  5. Arbo,P.&Benneworth,P.(2007).Understanding the Regional Contribution of Higher Education
  6. Institutions: A Literature Review. EDU/WKP(2007)
  7. Borell-Damian, L. (2009). University-Industry Partnerships for Enhancing Knowledge Exchange, The
  8. European University Association, Brussels,ISBN: 9789078997139
  9. Brenschi, S.& Lissoni, F. (2006). Mobility of inventors and the geography of Knowledge spilloves. New
  10. evidence an US data. CESPRI Working Paper 184 Bocconi University, Milan
  11. Burnside, B., & Witkin, L. (2008). Forging Successful University & Industry Collaborations. Research-
  12. Technology Management, 51(2), 26-30.
  13. Clark B. R. (1998). Creating Entrepreneurial Universities: Organizational Pathways of
  14. Transformation. Issues in Higher New York. Elsevier
  15. Clark, B. R. (1983). The higher education system:academic organizations in cross-national perspective.
  16. Berkeley: University of California Press
  17. Clark, B. R. (2004). Sustaining Change in Universities: Continuities in case studies and concepts.
  18. England. Open University Press
  19. Drucker, J. & H. Goldstein (2007). Assessing the Regional Economic Development Impacts of Universities: A Review of Current Approaches. International Regional Science Review 30(1): 20-46.
  20. Etzkowitz, H., Webster, A., Gebhardt, C., & Terra, B. R. C. (2000). The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm. Research Policy, 29(2), 313-330.
  21. Etzkowitz, H. (2001). The Second academic revolution and the rise of Entrepreneurial Science. IEEE Tech.Soc.Mag.19-29Etzkowitz, H. (2004). The evolution of the entrepreneurial university. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation(1):64-77
  22. Freeman, C. (1982). The Economics of Industrial Innovation, second edition, Cambridge (Mass.): MIT Press
  23. Friedman, J.& Silberman, J. (2003).University technology transfer: do incentives, management and
  24. location matter? Journal of Technology Transfer, vol.28, n°1, p.17-30.
  25. Garcia, J. M., Sapsed, J. (2011). The role of universities in enhancing creative clustering, Brighton Fuse: Enhancing the Creative, Digital and Information Technology Industries (CDIT) in Brighton- an AHRC Project.Retrieved from
  26. Gibb, A., Haskins, G., Robertson, I. (2009). Leading entrepreneurial university:meeting the entrepreneurial development needs of hiher educatioan instittions.Retrieved from http.// Gill, S. (2002). An economic Approch to the Klowlwdge Economy:Technologie- Skill Complementarities and Their Implications for Productivity and Policy.World Bank, Washington, DC Processed Grimpe, C. & Hussinger, K., (2008). Formal and Informal Technology Transfer from Academia to Industry: Complementarity Effects and Innovation Performance”, ZEW Discussion Papers 08-080, ZEW-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.Retrieved from Guth, M. (2006). Innovation, Social Inclusion and Coherent Regional Development: A new diamond for a socially inclusive innovation policy in regions, Journal European Planning Studies, 333-349,DOI: 10.1080/0965431042000321866,Guth, M., Cosnita, D. (2010).Clusters and potential clusters in Romania– A mapping exercise.Cluster Mapping: Results.Retrieved from Hall, B. H. and Ziedonis, R. H. (2001). The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the US Semiconductor Industry, 1979-95,RAND Journal of Economics, 32(1): 101-128 Hill, C. (2005). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace (5th). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  27. Jelenik, M. & Markham, S. (2007). Industry-university IP relations: Integrating perspectives and policy solutions. IEEE Transactionas on Engineering Management, 54, 257-267 Kirby, D. A. (2006). Creating entrepreneurial universities in the UK: Applying entrepreneurship theory and practice. J.Tech Transfer 31:599-603 Lee, Y. S. (1996). Technology transfer' and the research university: a search for the boundaries of university-industry collaboration. Research Policy, 25(6), 843-863.
  28. doi: DOI: 10.1016/0048-7333(95)00857-8 Lee, C. (2005). Labor Market Status of Older Males in the United States.1880–1940. Social Science History. 29:77–105. doi:10.1215/01455532-29-1-77 Link , A., Scott, J. (2005). Universities as partners in U.S. research joint ventures, Research Policy, vol.
  29. 34, issue 3, p. 385-393 Lundvall, B.A. (1992) National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning, London, Pinter Publishers.
  30. Martin, B., Etzkowitz, H. (2000). The origin and evolution of the university species”, VEST, vol. 13.
  31. Martinkeinaite, I., (2011). Antecedents and consequences of interorganizational knowledge transfer: Emerging themes and opening for further research. Baltic Journal of Management, 6(1), 53-70.
  32. Monjon, S. and Waelbroeck, P. (2003). Assessing spillovers from universities to firms: evidence from French firm-level data,International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol. 21, issue 9, pages 1255-1270 Nelson, R. R. (1993). National Systems of Innovation: A Comparative Analysis, Oxford University Press Poyago-Theotoky, J., Beath, J., Siegel, D. S. (2002). Universities and Fundamental Research: Reflections on the Growth of University-Industry Partnerships,Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 18, 10-21.
  33. Roos, G. (2007). Innovation management – A success factor for competitiveness, paper presented to the VTT Intelligence Forum, Tuottavuus ja T&K-strategia murroksessa; Miten vastata haasteeseen?, VTT SYMPOSIUM 250, VTT, 42 – 61.Retrieved from Rossi, F. (2010). The governance of university-industry knowledge transfer. European Journal of Innovation Management, 13 (2), 155-171
  34. Rothaermel, F.T., Agung, S. D., Jiang, L. (2007). University entepreneurship:a taxonomy of the
  35. literature.Indus.Corpor.Change:16(4):691-791
  36. Rynes, S. L. (2007). Let’s create a tipping point: What academics and practitioners can do, alone and
  37. together.Academy of Management Journal, 50, 1046–1054.
  38. Siegel, D. S., Wright, M., Lackett, A. (2007). The rise of entrepreneurial activity at
  39. universities;organizational and societal implications.Ind.Corp.Change 16 (4):489-504
  40. Smart, J. C. (2009). Higher education: Handbook of theory and research, volume XXIV. Memphis:
  41. Springer Science
  42. Sporn, B. (2001). Bulding adaptative universities:emerging organizational forms based on experiences of
  43. European and US universities.Tert.EDuc.Mang. 7(2):121-134
  44. Stăiculescu, C., Richițeanu-Năstase, E. R., Dobrea, R. C. (2015). The university and the business environment-Partnership for education, Elsevier, Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences, 211-218 Sung, T. K., (2005). Firm size, network and innovative activity: evidence from the Korean Manufacturing firms. Technological Innovation Studies, 13 (3), 1- 20.
  45. Tödtling, F. (2006). The role of universities in Innovation systems and regional economies, Expert meeting on The future of academic research, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, 19-20 October 2006Wallin, J. , Isaksson, O., Larsson, A. & Elfström, B-O. (2014). Bridging the gap between university and industry: three mechanisms for innovation efficiency, International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, vol. 11, no 1,World Scientific Publishing Company, DOI:10.1142/SO219877014400057Van Wijk, R., Jansen, J. J., & Lyles, M. A. (2008). Inter and Intra Organizational Knowledge Transfer: A meta-analystic review and assessment of its antecedents and consequences. Journal of Management Studies, 45, 830-853.

Copyright information

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Cite this paper as:

Click here to view the available options for cite this article.


Future Academy

First Online




Online ISSN