A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Chapter 9: The Role of Boundary Organizations in Maintaining Separation in the Triple Helix
Sally Davenport and Shirley Leitch INTRODUCTION Life Sciences Network, an umbrella group of industry and scientists who support genetic engineering, wants the chance to contradict evidence given by groups opposed to GE and to put new evidence before [the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification]. (Beston, 2001, p. 8) A new hybrid organizational representation of action that is neither purely scientific nor purely political is created. (Moore, 1996, p. 1621) The triple helix is said to consist of co-evolving networks of communication between three institutional players: universities (and other research organizations), industry and government (Leydesdorff, 2000). This separation into three separate ‘strands’ implies the existence of only three players, with distinct boundaries between each sphere of activity. However, there are other organizations that mediate the interaction between science, industry and government, such as bioethics councils (Kelly, 2003) and environmental groups (Guston, 2001; Miller, 2001). These new boundary organizations have arisen in the triple helix, in order to manage ‘boundary work’ and ‘boundary disputes’ as a result of the ‘new demands on researchers and their organizations’ (Hellstrom and Jacob, 2003, p. 235). Boundaries are drawn based on the assumption that they describe ‘a stable order’. This implies that the ordering of human actions and interactions circumscribed by the boundary is restraining (Hernes and Paulsen, 2003, p. 6). However, boundaries can be both enabling and constraining (Hernes, 2003, 2004). In the mainstream management literature there is much talk of breaking down boundaries, as they are perceived to be a barrier to...
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