Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management
Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson
Chapter 14: The development of action research processes and their impacts on socio-economic development in the Basque Country
As reflected in several other contributions to this volume, there is strong debate around the role that universities and their academics should play in the societies in which they are situated, with respect to both their teaching and their research activities. In particular, academia is asked to contribute actively to processes of territorial socio-economic development. This debate is supported by compelling normative arguments about the benefits of such active contribution, as reflected in well-known concepts such as ‘mode 2 knowledge production’ (Gibbons et al. 1994), ‘the triple helix’ (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 1997; 2000), ‘strategic research’ (Rip 2004) or the ‘third mission’ of universities (Laredo 2007). Indeed, in their comparative review of a range of such knowledge production concepts, Hessels and van Lente (2008: 755) conclude: [T]he claim that the content of scientific research agenda is currently changing recurs in all diagnoses: all address a turn towards more relevant research, research that (sooner or later) may lead to applications in the form of innovations or policy. Furthermore, all approaches point to more interactive relationships between science, industry and government.
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