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Reducing barriers to dynamic research collaboration between UK universities and technology firms

Gold, B. K. (2022) Reducing barriers to dynamic research collaboration between UK universities and technology firms. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00115653


Emerging technologies over the years have triggered several major transformations that are improving the approaches on how the global economy is addressed. Efforts to develop various technology solutions have aided changes in the management of collaborations in the delivery of projects, products, and services. The nature of ambitious improvements with pervasive digital solutions has led to new purpose and changes in key collaboration processes used for the present novel service-driven business models. The collaborative framework efforts processes for the current global industrial revolution differs from others in that it not only provides solutions but reveals novel concepts of smart and connected collaboration processes. It has also increased the need for dedicated proficient collaboration process that easily assist in managing resources and productivity that lead to the competitive influence of companies. Universities worldwide continue to play crucial roles in achieving economic growth in today’s knowledge-based societies. Collaborations between universities and industries in several countries have a long tradition in several sectors such as manufacturing. The collaboration synergies have produced integration of novel advancements in knowledge transfer, economy, services, and products have easily realised huge successes. In recent years, the synergy between academia and digital technology firms in advancements of digital technology is increasing and lead as key contributor to high-level competitive advantage. Ambitious government policies are encouraging UK universities to develop ‘third missions’ along with their two traditional core missions of research and teaching, to commercialise academic knowledge through collaborative digital technology projects, continuing education programmes, patenting, knowledge transfer offices, science parks or incubators. Collaboration structure that exists however, do not comprehensively reduce the barriers in dynamic research collaborative environments. Current collaborative structures are mostly generic business processes not accompanied with techniques that can assist new digital technology firms that encourages collaboration engagement culture and maturity awareness required to support partnerships with universities on the development of innovative products and services. Design Science Research technique was used as the research paradigm to design useful artefacts that could be used to bridge the research-practice gap presently in the field of university-digital technology firms research collaboration engagements. This research applied both survey and interviews design methods to develop an instruction, Research Collaboration Culture Assessment Instrument (RCCAI) that would encourage feedback from individual academic researchers and digital technology firm practitioners. Findings resulted in the development of a new theoretical representation for the concept of research collaboration culture based on the Collaboration Maturity Model (CMM). The RCCAI enables research groups, universities, and digital technology firms to self-assess their collaboration positions on the CMM rubric. The RCCAI is an inexpensive, online, and tailorable model that enables companies to partner with academia allowing them to accelerate the translation of that research into new products that drive economic growth. The evaluation of these artefacts demonstrate that they fulfil the aims of this research, that is, making the representation of research collaboration culture more dynamic promoting effective and efficient research collaborative engagements between academic researchers and digital technology firm practitioners. The RCCAI supports the need for approaches that encourages the forging of long-term collaborative relationships between universities and technology firms instead of one-off projects.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Gulliver, S. and Manwani, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:115653
Date on Title Page:August 2021


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