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Collaborative know-how and trust in university–industry collaborations: empirical evidence from ICT firms

Emilio Bellini, Giuseppe Piroli () and Luca Pennacchio ()
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Emilio Bellini: University of Sannio
Luca Pennacchio: Parthenope University of Naples

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2019, vol. 44, issue 6, No 12, 1939-1963

Abstract: Abstract This paper builds upon the knowledge-based view and organizational learning perspective. It develops and empirically tests a conceptual model to analyse the drivers and benefits of university–industry cooperation from the firm perspective. We used structural equation modeling to examine data collected from a sample of small and medium-sized Italian firms in the information and communication technology sector. We found that past collaborative experience increases the benefits drawn from university–industry cooperation. Both collaborative know-how and trust, however, play a significant mediating role on the relationship between collaborative experience and benefits. In particular, collaborative know-how is the main factor enhancing intangible benefits, such as knowledge transfer and learning, while trust is the main driver of tangible benefits, such as product and process innovations. Taken together, these findings suggest that firms should develop strategic competences to fully benefit from collaborations with universities because past collaborative experience alone is not sufficient. From the policy point of view, effort is needed to build channels and tools enhancing trust between industry and university, especially to support small firms.

Keywords: University–industry relationships; R&D cooperation; Information and communication technology; Small and medium-sized firms; Knowledge transfer; Structural equation modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O32 C3 L63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10961-018-9655-7

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