The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 840–858 | Cite as

Governance mode choice in collaborative Ph.D. projects



Joint Ph.D. projects are a prominent form of research collaboration, connecting universities to firms and public research organizations. When entering into such collaborations, partners need to make choices regarding a project’s governance. This paper investigates how a university and its partners govern such projects, including decision-making, daily management and disclosure policies. Earlier studies show that shared governance modes have had a higher success rate than centralized governance modes. Nevertheless, more than two thirds of the 191 joint Ph.D. projects we investigated opted for centralized rather than shared governance. Our findings show that: (1) geographical and/or cognitive distance render the adoption of a shared governance mode less likely; (2) the partner controlling critical resources tends to centralize governance, and (3) partnering firms are more likely to put restrictions on publication output than public research organizations. We therefore recommend that universities and their partners take these aspects into account when selecting such projects.


University–industry collaboration Collaborative Ph.D. project Shared governance Centralized governance Proximity Resource imbalances Publication disclosure 

JEL Classification

D22 D23 D74 G34 L24 L33 O31 O32 O34 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Innovation SciencesEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dialogic Innovatie and InteractieUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable DevelopmentUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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