The Institutionalization of Third Stream Activities in UK Higher Education: The Role of Discourse and Metrics

15 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Andy Lockett

Andy Lockett

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS)

Mike Wright

Imperial College London

Andrew Wild

Nottingham University Business School

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

In this paper we examine the institutionalization of a new organizational practice around third stream activities in UK higher education from 1994 to 2008. Employing a longitudinal research design, involving archival, survey and contemporary interview data, we show how a new organizational practice diffused through the use of discourse and metrics around commercialization but over time was threatened on pure economic criteria. In response to the threat we explore how actors worked to institutionalize the new practice, reshaping both discourse and metrics to ensure that they were robust so that they could align with the interests and values of major stakeholders. In addition, actors worked to align discourse and metrics, as any misalignment between the two would have undermined the institutionalization of the new organizational practice.

Suggested Citation

Lockett, Andy and Wright, Mike and Wild, Andrew, The Institutionalization of Third Stream Activities in UK Higher Education: The Role of Discourse and Metrics (January 2015). British Journal of Management, Vol. 26, Issue 1, pp. 78-92, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2550481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12069

Andy Lockett (Contact Author)

Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Mike Wright

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Andrew Wild

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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