Indicators and outcomes of Canadian university research: proxies becoming goals?

Langford, Cooper H, Hall, Jeremy, Josty, Peter, Matos, Stelvia and Jacobson, Astrid (2007) Indicators and outcomes of Canadian university research: proxies becoming goals? Research Policy, 35 (10). pp. 1586-1598. ISSN 0048-7333

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Abstract

This paper analyzes Canadian Government attempts to encourage and measure commercialization of university knowledge for socio-economic improvement. Universities are regarded as major, insufficiently exploited, repositories of knowledge. Here, paths by which knowledge can be transferred across institutional boundaries, and various input and output/outcome measures are identified. Available Canadian data are evaluated and a detailed quantitative and qualitative study of one institution is presented. Three key issues emerge: (1) current proxies focus on licensing and spin-off, and do not measure several important paths of knowledge flow; (2) most readily available proxies are derived from aggregate data and are inadequate to fully reflect the idiosyncratic and path-dependent nature of innovation; (3) if the goals and incentives of the actors in the ‘triple helix’ are skewed or misinterpreted by indicators, universities and firms may engage in counterproductive activities. We propose additional indicators that might help to prevent one measurable dimension from becoming the policy driver to the detriment of the overall goals.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Tahir Beydola
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 11:03
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 11:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/88584
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