, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1-67

Research collaboration in universities and academic entrepreneurship: the-state-of-the-art

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Abstract

There is abundant evidence that research collaboration has become the norm in every field of scientific and technical research. We provide a critical overview of the literature on research collaboration, focusing particularly on individual-level collaborations among university researchers, but we also give attention to university researchers’ collaborations with researchers in other sectors, including industry. We consider collaborations aimed chiefly at expanding the base of knowledge (knowledge-focused collaborations) as well as ones focused on production of economic value and wealth (property-focused collaborations), the latter including most academic entrepreneurship research collaborations. To help organize our review we develop a framework for analysis, one that considers attributes of collaborators, collaborative process and organization characteristics as the affect collaboration choices and outcomes. In addition, we develop and use a “Propositional Table for Research Collaboration Literature,” presented as an “Appendix” to this study. We conclude with some suggestions for possible improvement in research on collaboration including: (1) more attention to multiple levels of analysis and the interactions among them; (2) more careful measurement of impacts as opposed to outputs; (3) more studies on ‘malpractice’ in collaboration, including exploitation; (4) increased attention to collaborators’ motives and the social psychology of collaborative teams.