Cardiff Metropolitan University
1-s2.0-S0166497223001438-main.pdf (633 kB)
Download file

Introducing Ethical Theory to the Triple Helix Model: Supererogatory Acts in Crisis Innovation

Download (633 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-14, 10:59 authored by Steffan James, Zheng LiuZheng Liu, Gareth R.T. White, Anthony Samuel

Triple Helix has been widely discussed as a means of enabling innovation and economic development. Yet, despite the presence of a considerable corpus of literature, little is known about its functioning during times of crisis and the ethical dimensions of the relationships between the individuals of which it is comprised. This study addresses this gap through examining the interoperation of university, industry and government to respond to a social and economic emergency.

Drawing upon the ethical theory of supererogation and evidence from three projects to innovate and develop medical devices, the paper makes important observations. First, the interoperation of Triple Helix appears perdurable under crisis conditions. Second, the micro-relations between individual actors enabled the ideation of new devices, the identification of resources and the minimisation of bureaucratic obstacles. Third, the micro-relational behaviours manifested as supererogatory acts between individuals. Collectively, these findings contribute to our understanding of Triple Helix beyond steady-state conditions and introduces an ethic-theoretical dimension to its examination that characterizes the nature of micro-relations between institutional actors.





  • VoR (Version of Record)


James, S., Liu, Z., White, G. R., & Samuel, A. (2023) 'Introducing ethical theory to the triple helix model: Supererogatory acts in crisis innovation', Technovation, 126, 102832.

Print ISSN


Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

Zheng Liu

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


  • en

Usage metrics

    Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research - Journal Articles