Commodification of Academic Research in Emerging Countries

Dana Minbaeva*, Bahtiyar Minbaev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In this paper we explore potential barriers for commodification of academic research in emerging countries.

Design/methodology/approach: We carried out an exploratory study employing a mixed-method sequential exploratory design. Initially, qualitative interviews were performed to identify cognitive, structural, and ideological barriers associated with commodification. Subsequently, we administered a survey at three universities in Kazakhstan to gather quantitative data. The quantitative insights served to complement our qualitative findings and facilitate the interpretation of the observed patterns within the broader population.

Findings: We found that a too rapid shift toward commercialization exacerbated concerns among faculty members and created obstacles to commodification. The obstacles identified through inductive clustering of themes from exploratory qualitative interviews were grouped into three intentionally broad categories: cognitive, structural, and ideological barriers. We argue that in emerging economies, the path to commodifying academic research should start with developing local infrastructure to address identified structural, cognitive, and ideological barriers. This, in turn, will lead to more successful commercialization and redefine the role of academics in society.

Originality: This study represents one of the few endeavors into exploring commodification within the context of emerging economies. In recent decades, universities have faced substantial pressures to commodify academic research. While there has been a significant volume of research discussing and documenting the success of commodification in developed country universities, those in emerging economies have faced similar pressures without achieving comparable success. This paper delves into the reasons why.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jan 2024


  • emerging markets
  • commodification
  • academic knowledge

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