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Academic Firms and Entrepreneurial Mode 3 Universities in Knowledge Economies and Knowledge Democracies within Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation Systems Architectures.

This Collection inquires as to how business and higher education may evolve over the course of the twenty-first century, and how they might interact and co-develop within the context of the knowledge economy and knowledge democracy (where dynamics are being created and generated in reference to principles of the Quadruple and Quintuple Helix innovation systems). It is also part of planned paired release, with a sister Collection, Dialogues and Synergy Building between Triple, Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Models: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives, being published through Journal of the Knowledge Economy (for full details please see here). 

Topics of interest include:

  • How do knowledge production and innovation in the economy change?
  • What are innovative designs for companies and firms (for example the “academic firms”)?
  • What can be said about the future of work (labor) and education?
  • How does the future of universities (higher education institutes) appear in relation to knowledge production and innovation?
  • How can networks of research and innovation advance in connecting “academic firms” and “Mode 3” universities and higher education institutes?
  • Is an advancement of knowledge and innovation possible without a (knowledge) democracy?
  • How can a (knowledge) democracy support (for example via policy, strategy and governance) the development of the economy and higher education systems?
  • What are knowledge-based and innovation-based future scenarios on the evolution of economy, higher education and democracy?

Two key concepts to be evaluated are the “Academic Firm” and the “Mode 3 Universities / Higher Education Institutes”.

The Academic Firm:

The academic firm can be regarded alternatively: as a “whole” firm; a subunit, subdivision, or branch of a “commercial” firm; or certain characteristics or elements of a whole (commercial) firm. In terms of more particular aspects, the academic firm may be described in the following ways:

  1. The academic firm is a type of firm (firm-based organization or institution) that is being driven by focusing on encouraging, supporting, and advancing knowledge production (research, research and experimental development, R&D) and knowledge application (innovation). The academic firm is also interested in generating profits (revenues), but this should be a “sustainable profit” in comprehensive terms and well in balance with the good principles of a good knowledge production and knowledge application (innovation). The academic firm operates in a whole knowledge-based ecosystem.
  2. The academic firm is and behaves as knowledge based, knowledge oriented, knowledge driven, knowledge producing, and knowledge creating. The academic firm displays (often) an inclination for applying and following the logic of nonlinear innovation, by this demonstrating flexibility. The academic firm regards basic research in the context of application as an opportunity.
  3. The academic firm incorporates academic values to motivate its employees and to create bonds of trust and of a good relationship between the organization and the individual employees. The academic firm qualifies a disciplinary variety of the background of its employees (and their competences) as a potential opportunity and asset to perform creatively in knowledge production and knowledge application.
  4. The academic firm has an interest to engage in networks with universities (higher education institutions) or other academic research institutions, driven out of a desire to access university knowledge (e.g., basic university research). In general, the academic firm values engagement in diversified networks as a form for creating knowledge as well as benefitting from opportunities.
  5. The academic firm allows and encourages academic research work (academic publications can act as incentives for employees to codify their tacit knowledge).
  6. The academic firm supports continuing education, further education, and lifelong learning of its employees and has in principle a positive attitude in favor of a flexibility concerning the load of working hours and their flexible adaptation for their employees and their needs (full-time, part-time, perhaps shifting back-and-forth), but also for partial absence or partial leave of its employees. Cross-benefitting cross-connections between careers and career schemes with continuing education are being explored by the academic firm.
  7. The academic firm accepts in principle, in certain situations even promotes, split employment or “cross-employment” (multi-employment) of its employees with other (academic) organizations or institutions, for example, universities or other higher education institutions.

Mode 3 Universities / Higher Education Institutes:

Mode 3 for universities and higher education institutions implies that academic organizations are to be encouraged in developing and performing innovative organizational designs that are interested in integrating and co-developing different modes of knowledge production and innovation. This has implications for strategy and governance. In networks of research and innovation, Mode 3 universities (higher education institutions) are representing perfect partnering institutions and nodes for the (envisioned) academic firms.


Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. The timeline of the Collection is as follows.

  • April 1, 2024: Expression of interest, abstract (around 500-1000 words) submission by email to the guest editors (of the three journals) for consideration in the joint special issues. 
  • June 1, 2024: Guest editors provide recommendations for further paper development.
  • December 31, 2024 (or before) : Submission of the final article manuscript. The final submission will be managed through the standard submission systems for external review of the journal. The finally accepted paper will be first published online. 

The Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship publishes numerous article types including research articles, commentaries, reviews, and short reports, all of which can be submitted to this collection. 


Priv.-Doz David F. J. Campbell
Department for Higher Education Research 
University for Continuing Education Krems
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30, 3500 Krems, Austria

Yuzhuo Cai
University Lecturer, Adjunct Professor
Faculty of Management and Business
Tampere University
Kalevantie 4, 33100 Tampere, Finland

Elias G. Carayannis
Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
George Washington University School of Business
2201 G Street NW, Suite 515C, Washington, D.C. 20052 USA


Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read these guidelines. To ensure your paper is handled as efficiently as possible, it is important that you include all of the required elements for your chosen article type.

Submit your complete manuscript through our online content management system here

To ensure your paper is considered for this Collection, please answer "yes" when asked whether you are planning to submit to a thematic series, and select the Collection name from the drop-down menu.  In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the "Academic Firms and Entrepreneurial Mode 3 Universities in Knowledge Economies and Knowledge Democracies within Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation Systems Architectures" Collection. 

All research articles will undergo blinded peer review. Accepted articles will be published.

Accepted papers will benefit from the following advantages of Open Access publication:

Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient

High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article

No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage

Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed.

For editorial queries, please contact this journal's Publishing Editor Bijita Majumdar  

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