An exploratory study of retaining and maintaining knowledge in university technology transfer processes

An exploratory study of retaining and maintaining knowledge in university technology transfer... Purpose – This paper focuses on the university science park incubator element of the technology transfer process where knowledge in a variety of forms needs to be retained and maintained. The aim is to investigate the networking competencies of stakeholders involved in the university technology transfer process using absorptive capacity theory to explore how knowledge is externally retained and maintained through these network relations. Design/methodology/approach – This paper undertakes an inductive theory building approach using in‐depth multiple stakeholder interviews ( n =30). The transcripts and results were analysed using open coding and NVivo. Six technology transfer meetings were also observed. Findings – The findings show that developing and maintaining network relationships can significantly aid the development and retention of knowledge within the university technology transfer process. It was found that conscious effort is made to retain relationships with network stakeholders. Prior knowledge, partner knowledge complementarity and reciprocity, resulting in collective learning, were found to motivate stakeholders to engage in external knowledge retention strategies. The results also supported suggestions in previous literature that relative capacity is an antecedent for absorptive capacity within organisations. Research limitations/mplications – The paper helps in establishing a research agenda for knowledge retention in technology transfer where traditionally the emphasis has been on development of knowledge. The absorptive capacity framework provides a consistent theoretical basis for exploring the role of stakeholders in this area. Originality/value – The paper focuses on how knowledge can be retained in technology transfer settings rather than being restricted to that of development. The use of the absorptive capacity framework has also enabled the concept of relative capacity to be developed within the research giving much needed empirical investigation into its relevance and feasibility. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Emerald Publishing

An exploratory study of retaining and maintaining knowledge in university technology transfer processes

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1355-2554
DOI
10.1108/13552551111174729
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper focuses on the university science park incubator element of the technology transfer process where knowledge in a variety of forms needs to be retained and maintained. The aim is to investigate the networking competencies of stakeholders involved in the university technology transfer process using absorptive capacity theory to explore how knowledge is externally retained and maintained through these network relations. Design/methodology/approach – This paper undertakes an inductive theory building approach using in‐depth multiple stakeholder interviews ( n =30). The transcripts and results were analysed using open coding and NVivo. Six technology transfer meetings were also observed. Findings – The findings show that developing and maintaining network relationships can significantly aid the development and retention of knowledge within the university technology transfer process. It was found that conscious effort is made to retain relationships with network stakeholders. Prior knowledge, partner knowledge complementarity and reciprocity, resulting in collective learning, were found to motivate stakeholders to engage in external knowledge retention strategies. The results also supported suggestions in previous literature that relative capacity is an antecedent for absorptive capacity within organisations. Research limitations/mplications – The paper helps in establishing a research agenda for knowledge retention in technology transfer where traditionally the emphasis has been on development of knowledge. The absorptive capacity framework provides a consistent theoretical basis for exploring the role of stakeholders in this area. Originality/value – The paper focuses on how knowledge can be retained in technology transfer settings rather than being restricted to that of development. The use of the absorptive capacity framework has also enabled the concept of relative capacity to be developed within the research giving much needed empirical investigation into its relevance and feasibility.

Journal

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: University technology transfer; Relative capacity; Knowledge management; Absorptive capacity; Networking; Business enterprise; Stakeholder analysis

References

  • Internal capabilities and external knowledge sources: complements or substitutes for innovative performance?
    Caloghirou, Y.; Ioanna, K.; Tsakanikas, A.
  • University technology transfer: do incentives, management, and location matter?
    Friedman, J.; Silberman, J.

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