Higher Education

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 721–740 | Cite as

Different research markets: a disciplinary perspective

  • Oili-Helena YlijokiEmail author
  • Anu Lyytinen
  • Liisa Marttila


Drawing upon the notions of academic capitalism and the transformation of academic research from traditional academic orientation into market orientation, the paper sets out to empirically scrutinize the changing nature of academic research, focusing especially on disciplinary differences. The paper is based on a survey of heads of departments and research units at Finnish universities representing all disciplinary groups (n = 255) and on in-depth interviews with Finnish academics (n = 31) in the fields of humanities, social sciences, technology and natural sciences. Based on the survey data, the funding, selection of research topics, collaboration partners, audiences and publication forums in research are analysed. Following this, five research markets are discerned: academic, corporate, policy, professional and public market, each characterized by its own values and rationality as to what is considered the reference group, basic objective and outcome of research. The paper concludes that the transformation thesis needs to be revisited and specified since on the one hand, academic orientation still remains crucially important in all disciplinary groups, and on the other hand, market orientation entails several kinds of markets, pointing to the versatility of the university–society relationship.


Academic capitalism Academic research Commercialisation Disciplinary differences University–society relationship 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oili-Helena Ylijoki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anu Lyytinen
    • 2
  • Liisa Marttila
    • 3
  1. 1.Unit for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Higher Education Group, School of ManagementUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  3. 3.Development UnitTampere University of Applied SciencesTampereFinland

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