Language Norms and Debate in Triple Helix Organizations

Language Norms and Debate in Triple Helix Organizations

Kathryn J. Hayes (University of Western Sydney, Australia) and J. Anneke Fitzgerald (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-564-1.ch004


Commercialization activities combining the discoveries of one occupational group, such as scientists, with the commercial skills of managers involve interactions across occupational cultures. This chapter considers how dissent can be interpreted as a sign of dysfunction or cause for concern. The context of the study is temporary Australian hybrid industry-research organizations composed of academic, government, and industry personnel. Semi-structured interviews of twenty scientists, engineers, and managers focused on their experiences and perceptions of occupational culture, including styles of debate. Distinctive patterns of argumentation were identified as typical of commercial and research occupations. Extended argumentation contributed to knowledge creation, and played a role in maintaining a hierarchy among research institutions. Members of research and commercial occupational subcultures working in Australian CRCs reported frustration and reduced effectiveness of argumentation due to different norms for dissent. Initial expectations of similarity, built upon identification of occupational hierarchies, heighten the impact of these differences.

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