Loose coupling, conflict, and resistance: the case of IPR policy conflict in an Israeli university

Adi Sapir*, Amalya Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper investigates a conflict that erupted during the years 2003–2005 between faculty and management at an Israeli research university, over the introduction of new intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations. The introduction of new IPR regulations triggered contention and resistance among faculty members and raised debates over questions of academic freedom, labor relations, and the mission of the university, as well as struggles over financial remunerations and overhead expenses. We draw on the analytical perspectives of loose coupling and framing within new institutional theory to explore the processes and outcomes of organizational conflicts within universities and the background and implications of changes in IPR regulations. Our study identifies a repertoire of coupling processes and framing strategies in the context of organizational conflict within a university, and discusses the specific significance of loose coupling in academic settings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)709-724
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • IPR policy
  • Loose coupling
  • Organizational conflict
  • Research commercialization


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