Leaving the Ivory Tower: Universities' Third Mission and the Search for Legitimacy

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


In this paper, we investigate how third mission strategies relate to changing legitimacy of universities. The work is based on a literature review and a case study of the largest business university in the EU (WU Vienna). First, we describe relevant trends and pressures for higher education institutions towards responsibility, accountability, and third mission. Second, we introduce the case in order to substantiate these trends, driven also by Austrian politics and international networks, some of them also emerging with a more socially oriented mission. Finally, we discuss isomorphic trends in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41 - 60
JournalZeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102 not use (legacy)
  • 506009 Organisation theory
  • 502023 NPO research
  • 504007 Empirical social research

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