ERIC Number: EJ970034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 0
Beyond the Academic-Corporate Divide
Siegel, David J.
Academe, v98 n1 Jan-Feb 2012
Academics often view intercourse with business as a dirty, unchaste affair. Yet in some realms of activity, academic institutions practice greater virtue not by rebuffing corporate interests but by being in bed with them. Cross-sector social partnership, one of the terms of art applied to this sort of interbreeding, offers a potent means of disrupting the spiral of massive social ills. Nevertheless, the commingling of academic institutions and business organizations, even for worthy causes, is itself an intractable social challenge. The author asserts that an ethic of collaboration for explicitly public purposes is more elusive. How does one encourage it to take hold? The proposition involves something more than simply aggregating one's knowledge, expertise, understandings, problem-solving repertoires, and other vital assets. Changing the way schools think and talk about their counterparts in business--connecting their identities, purposes, and imperatives--begins a cultural shift that is ultimately more amenable to joint action in the public interest. The author offers suggestions that promote a co-evolution of education sectors into more effective joint actors in the social arena. Joint action is an alternative to constrained thinking about how academic and corporate entities should relate, moving the academic institutions beyond the debate about the corporatization of the academy to focus instead on building the capacity for collaborative contribution.
Descriptors: Expertise, Higher Education, Institutions, Partnerships in Education, School Business Relationship, Social Problems, Social Responsibility
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A