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Lidia Yatluk1
  • 1 Instructional Design and Development Department, Modum Lab, 35A Lermontovsky Ave, 190068 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Strategies and Tactics of Academics in the Context of Transition toward the Entrepreneurial University

2020. No. 4. P. 165–192 [issue contents]
Lidia Yatluk — Oxford Russia Fellow, Head of Instructional Design and Development Department, Modum Lab.

Address: 35A Lermontovsky Ave, 190068 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. E-mail: lidiaoutlook@gmail.com

A new form of the university has been emerging since the 1980s. Open, closely connected to the state and businesses, and internalizing the market logic of decision making, the university is becoming entrepreneurial. In Russia, changes occur with a certain lag, but present-day Russian universities already feature the new forms of activities characteristic of the global trend, such as patents, academic incubators, science parks, and startups. Formally, Russian universities have already become entrepreneurial, but they still remain traditionally overregulated institutions. In addition to collisions between the traditional logic of academia and the new one of the market that are typical of Western universities, Russia also features conflicts with the logic of bureaucracy.
A study based on 30 in-depth interviews with university researchers of virtual and augmented reality and five expert interviews with representatives of other market actors was conducted with a view to find out how everyday practices and strategies of academics change in the context of transition toward the entrepreneurial university. Referring to James C. Scott’s concept of “mētis”, we describe the most widespread situations of conflict between different logics: procuring and allocating lab funding, choosing problems for research and development, launching new education programs, and assigning statuses to institutional departments. Completing our theoretical framework with Robert K. Merton’s anomie theory, we demonstrate possible versions of strategy design and possible reasons for choosing a specific course of action. The strategies of innovation and rebellion manifest themselves most saliently in the laboratories analyzed, while conformity, retreatism and ritualism are expressed mildly and blend into one another. However, regardless of the choices they make, academics still have enough freedom and creativity to avoid being determined completely of partially by any undesired logic.
Citation: Yatluk L. (2020) Strategii i taktiki adaptatsii uchenykh v usloviyakh perekhoda k predprinimatel'skomu universitetu [Strategies and Tactics of Academics in the Context of Transition toward the Entrepreneurial University]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 165-192.
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