Industry–University Collaborations in Emerging Economies: A Legitimacy Perspective

Abiodun Adegbile* (Corresponding / Lead Author), David Sarpong, Dongmei Cao

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The need for universities to commercialize academic knowledge, in addition to their two traditional core missions of research and teaching, has made industry–university collaborations (IUCs) more relevant. Although research on IUCs has produced a significant body of knowledge explaining different factors which
    enable or inhibit the success of IUCs, the nature of IUCs in emerging economies remains poorly understood. The primary purpose of this article is to extend our cumulative understanding of IUCs and of how universities in emerging economies can successfully transition to become entrepreneurial universities. We drew upon
    insights from two streams of literature—legitimacy and IUCs—to develop an informed understanding of the phenomenon of IUCs and entrepreneurial university emergence in developing economies of Africa. We apply to IUCs and entrepreneurial university emergence the four typologies of the moral legitimacy perspective—personal, consequential, structural, and procedural. We propose
    how they can yield insights into the antecedents for successful IUCs in emerging African economies, as well as the processes that lead to the emergence of legitimate entrepreneurial universities. We highlight the paper’s contributions to theory and practice and suggest that, just as research on IUCs benefits from an organizational legitimacy perspective, organizational legitimacy is also informed
    by research into IUCs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2381-2393
    Number of pages13
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
    Issue number7
    Early online date2021
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2023


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