The Triple Helix as a Model for Coordination with Potential for ICTs

The Triple Helix as a Model for Coordination with Potential for ICTs

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3643-9.ch009


Promising frameworks have been developed to ensure that different players can have benefits from economic and social activities with high levels of interdependencies. Among these frameworks, the triple helix model constitutes an interesting model that accounts for interactions and ensures coordination of tasks. This chapter focuses on both the elements of the framework and its applications. A special focus is placed on knowledge diffusion in MENA and Arab countries. The usefulness of the triple helix coordinating process is clearly shown to be a way of accounting for interferences and interdependencies. The implicit idea is that further requirements of coordination under this model need further use of ICT tools.
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The Triple Helix Framework

Knowledge diffusion models have evolved through time to account for both production-transfer processes and the related agents or institutions. These models are useful frameworks that ensure strategies and means for the enhancement and acceleration of knowledge for development through its production and transfers. They are useful for countries and localities besides the sectors that are behind these processes. As such, they account for the interferences between sectors and different players. These include policy, knowledge, and applications. As the focus of this book is on health, education and socioeconomic outcomes, these can really benefit from the framework provided by the triple helix.

Viale and Etzkowitz (2005) provide an excellent historical background about single, double and triple helices as they have been used to describe and analyze knowledge related processes. To these authors, the single helix relates to the insulated individual inventor, during the first industrial revolution where the knowledge is mainly tacit. With more explicit knowledge, this previous stage is replaced during the second industrial revolution by the double helix as a representation of the weak relationships between the industry and the university where the first one is not fully following a scientific path, while the second not completely adhering to an industrialization process. As in Carayol (2003), cognitive integration between science and technology contribute to the generation of major needs of societies. Governments and public organizations have to intervene to facilitate knowledge production, diffusion, and financial support. Three institutional spheres are then involved under the triple helix framework. Besides, ICTs play a major role in the enhancement of the general coordination system. In fact, the Internet use is very effective in facilitating and enhancing a new paradigm in development, Knowledge Networks. These networks gather institutions and people from all around the world and from all the categories of the society for the sake of the discovery of new knowledge and its use for the improvement of nations (Cukor & McKnight, 2001). The quadruple helix accounts also for the roles played by civil society as the fourth institutional player in the creation and diffusion of knowledge for development (Carayannis & Campbell, 2012). With the inclusion of other institutions and key actors in this process, the game becomes larger and some authors talk about Nth-Helix (Leydesdorff, 2012). However, major theoretical and empirical debates are still occurring at this level.

Etzkowitz and Zhou (2006) have discussed this matter already. They consider that the debate over the Triple Helix model has focused on the question of whether there is a fourth helix. Various candidates have been suggested, such as labor, venture capital, the informal sector, and civil society. However, introduction of a fourth helix might cause a triadic model to lose its creative dynamic. Nevertheless, an expanded model is required to incorporate a critical dimension. To resolve this paradox, we propose a Sustainability Triple Helix of university-public-government as a complement to the Innovation Triple Helix of university-industry-government. This introduces a missing element into the model, while retaining its dynamic properties.

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