Managing the Accountability-Autonomy Tensions in University Research Commercialisation

Forthcoming in Financial Accountability & Management Journal

Posted: 23 Sep 2015 Last revised: 14 Oct 2015

See all articles by Anil Narayan

Anil Narayan

Auckland University of Technology - Faculty of Business & Law

Deryl Northcott

The Auckland University of Technology

Lee D. Parker

RMIT University

Date Written: September 14, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates organisational responses to emerging concerns about how accountability-autonomy tensions can be managed within the context of university research commercialisation. The findings suggest that changed expectations of university research practices, which result from the introduction of a commercialisation logic, can be managed via the homogenisation of research goals and strategies. The successful management of accountability-autonomy tensions also depends on utilising the various structures and cultural contexts that can be facilitated by decoupling and bridging strategies. Further, while adopting symbolic systems may enhance legitimacy, failure to implement material practices and provide the appropriate cultural context to manage conflicting relationships may put university commercialisation ambitions at risk.

Keywords: accountability, autonomy, commercialisation, research, universities.

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Narayan, Anil and Northcott, Deryl and Parker, Lee D., Managing the Accountability-Autonomy Tensions in University Research Commercialisation (September 14, 2015). Forthcoming in Financial Accountability & Management Journal, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2660556

Anil Narayan (Contact Author)

Auckland University of Technology - Faculty of Business & Law ( email )

3 Wakefield Street
Private Bag 92006
Auckland Central 1020, Auckland 1010
New Zealand

Deryl Northcott

The Auckland University of Technology ( email )

42 Wakefield Street
Private Bag 92006
Auckland Central, 1142
New Zealand
+64 9 921-9999, ext. 5850 (Phone)

Lee D. Parker

RMIT University ( email )

University Ave,
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ
United Kingdom
#61399255542 (Phone)
#61399256524 (Fax)

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