Social responsibility: A tool for legitimation in Spanish universities’ strategic plans

Giorgia Miotto, Alicia Blanco González, Cristina Del Castillo Feito

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The mission of universities is not limited to creating and transferring knowledge. Nowadays, universities have the responsibility of working towards the improvement of people’s lives and solving significant global problems. (Núñez and Alonso, 2009; Setó et al., 2011; Vázquez et al., 2015; Martínez et al., 2017). This global, inclusive mission, along with the goal of having a positive impact on society while respecting all stakeholders, is framed within the concept of University Social Responsibility (USR). Through a participative and dia-logic process with internal and external stakeholders, University Social Responsibility and Responsible Research and Innovation will become important and necessary tools for universities’ legitimation. The objective of this paper is to define whether or not USR and RRI strategies are considered tools for legitimacy in the Strategic Plans of universities. To define the theoretical framework, we carried out a review of scholarly literature about the concepts of USR and RRI as related to legitimacy. A set of Spanish universities’ Strategic Plans are analy-sed in order to determine the kinds of messages and projects related to USR and RRI that are included therein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-79
Number of pages21
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Legitimacy
  • Social responsibility
  • Strategic plan
  • University


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