Limits to compliance: Means-ends dissociation and knowledge differentials in university-society legitimacy struggles
In an opaque institutional field, compliance can be gauged only imperfectly, if at all, where knowledge differentials work in favour of legitimacy seekers. This notion is explored in the context of UK universities’ struggles with justifying public investment in scientific research. Involving both spinout founders as legitimacy exemplars and macro-level policy debates, the results how a consensus that a stable formula for more socially useful knowledge production does not exist as means and ends are often found dissociated. The interdependence between universities commanding expert knowledge and society in control of the public purse means that neither party has the full authority to dictate which version means-ends is legitimate. The findings further demonstrate that where economic returns are demanded, means-ends dissociation allows for certain legitimacy responses that can be regarded as evasion in other contexts. This situation therefore runs counter to a number of commonly held assumptions on how legitimacy is sought and evaluated.
Citation : Klangboonkrong, Y. (2017) Limits to compliance: Means-ends dissociation and knowledge differentials in university-society legitimacy struggles. 4th Workshop on Organisational and Institutional Change, Edinburgh, 6 March 2017
Research Group : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : No