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How can academic-policy collaboration be more effective? A stewardship approach to engaged scholarship in the case of SME internationalization

Margaret Fletcher, Pavlos Dimitratos and Stephen Young

UNCTAD Transnational Corporations Journal

Abstract: In response to calls for more policy-relevant academic research, this paper undertakes a stewardship approach to examine an engaged scholarship policy programme targeted at supporting the internationalization of Small and MediumSized Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland, namely the Global Companies Development Programme (GCDP). The study was undertaken by academics and included a combined formal evaluation and research study, a follow-up workshop and group interviews over a ten-year-period. This study extends the stewardship approach to the engaged scholarship context. The findings suggest that stakeholders view their collaboration as a “supra-organizational” formation through which they can identify and empathize with its objectives; require skilful boundary spanners who consistently promote the objectives of the collaboration in the participating organizations; and, accentuate effective knowledge generation and transfer to SME internationalization activities that reflect the outcomes of their collaboration. We discuss policy implications for the development of private-public and interagency partnerships.

Date: 2018
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