Inderscience Publishers

Mission impossible? Institutional barriers to the diffusion of the "third academic mission" at German universities

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The intensification of university-industry relations and the role universities play in a knowledge society are widely discussed. Some even argue that economic development through technology transfer has become a ‘"third academic mission"’ on a par with universities' traditional missions of teaching and research. Institutional barriers to the diffusion of that mission, however, are largely ignored. With the aid of some conceptual and theoretical tools from research in organisational analysis the paper focuses on these barriers. Empirical evidence is drawn from a study on technology transfer offices at German universities.

Keywords: technology transfer, universities, third academic mission, transfer offices, diffusion, institutional barriers

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