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Investigating the drivers of failure of research-industry collaborations in open innovation contexts

Gloria Puliga, Andrea Urbinati, Enrico Maria Franchin and Stefano Castegnaro

Technovation, 2023, vol. 119, issue C

Abstract: Collaboration between research and industry is fundamental for technology innovation. Most existing research in this domain has focused on the drivers or enabling factors that lead to the success of such collaboration. On the contrary, the lack of information about collaboration failures in research-industry settings still represents one of the main obstacles to studying this topic. In this paper, we argue that management scholars should deepen inquiry on unsuccessful research-industry collaborations, as these occurrences may also have major repercussions in terms of business failures. Accordingly, we take stock of research on unsuccessful collaborations in the Big Science context, a special open innovation environment characterised by unexplored cases of research-industry collaboration failures. To address the need to investigate the drivers of failure in this context, we leverage a multiple case study analysis with a retrospective approach of a polar sample type of six case studies of collaborations between CERN – the biggest fundamental research organisation in the world – and supplier companies: three collaborations that have been recognised as successful, and three that have been recognised as failures. By doing so, we aim to provide a framework highlighting the main drivers that lead to failures of collaborations in this peculiar open innovation context and to shed light on the reasons why research-industry collaborations may fail in the Big Science context.

Keywords: Open innovation; Research-industry collaborations; Failure; CERN; Big science; Technology innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2022.102543

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