The Journal of Technology Transfer

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

Governance mode choice in collaborative Ph.D. projects

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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 

References

  1. Armstrong, J. S., & Overton, T. S. (1977). Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys. Journal of Marketing Research, 14(3), 396–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Autant-Bernard, C., Billand, P., Frachisse, D., & Massard, N. (2007). Social distance versus spatial distance in R&D cooperation: Empirical evidence from European collaboration choices in micro and nanotechnologies. Papers in Regional Science, 86(3), 495–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balland, P.-A. (2012). Proximity and the evolution of collaboration networks: evidence from research and development projects within the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) industry. Regional Studies, 46(6), 741–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boschma, R. A. (2005). Proximity and innovation: A critical assessment. Regional Studies, 39(1), 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouba-Olga, O., Ferru, M., & Pépin, D. (2012). Exploring spatial features of science-industry partnerships: A study on French data. Papers in Regional Science, 91(2), 355–375.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cummings, J. N., & Kiesler, S. (2005). Collaborative research across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Social Studies of Science, 35(5), 703–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dasgupta, P., & David, P. (1994). Towards a new economics of science. Research Policy, 23(5), 487–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Desrochers, P. (2001). Geographical proximity and the transmission of tacit knowledge. The Review of Austrian Economics, 14(1), 25–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. D’Este, P., Guy, F., & Iammarino, S. (2013). Shaping the formation of university-industry research collaborations: what type of proximity does really matter? Journal of Economic Geography, 13(4), 537–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (2000). The dynamics of innovation: From National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of university–industry–government relations. Research Policy, 29(2), 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., & Trow, M. (1994). The new production of knowledge: The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies. Beverley Hills, CA: SAGE Publications Limited.Google Scholar
  13. Granstrand, O., Patel, P., & Pavitt, K. (1997). Multi-technology corporations: Why they have’distributed’rather than’distinctive core’competences. California Management Review, 39(4), 8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hagedoorn, J., Link, A. N., & Vonortas, N. S. (2000). Research partnerships. Research Policy, 29(4–5), 567–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hitt, M. A., Biermant, L., Shimizu, K., & Kochhar, R. (2001). Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 44(1), 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liebeskind, J. P., Oliver, A. L., Zucker, L., & Brewer, M. (1996). Social networks, learning, and flexibility: Sourcing scientific knowledge in new biotechnology firms. Organization Science, 7(4), 428–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mangematin, V. (2000). Ph.D. job market: professional trajectories and incentives during the Ph.D. Research Policy, 29(6), 741–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nooteboom, B. (2000). Learning and innovation in organizations and economies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Nooteboom, B., Van Haverbeke, W. P. M., Duijsters, G. M., Gilsing, V. A., & Van Oord, A. (2007). Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity. Research Policy, 36(7), 1016–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nuvolari, A. (2004). Collective invention during the British Industrial Revolution: The case of the Cornish pumping engine. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 28(3), 347–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Perkmann, M., Tartari, V., McKelvey, M., Autio, E., Broström, A., D'Este, P., et al. (2013). Academic engagement and commercialisation: A review of the literature on university–industry relations. Research Policy, 42(2), 423–442.Google Scholar
  22. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J.-Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ponds, R., Van Oort, F., & Frenken, K. (2007). The geographical and institutional proximity of research collaboration. Papers in Regional Science, 86(3), 423–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Powell, W. W., White, Douglas R., Koput, Kenneth W., & Owen-Smith, Jason. (2005). Network dynamics and field evolution: The growth of interorganizational collaboration in the life sciences. American Journal of Sociology, 110(4), 1132–1205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rallet, A., & Torre, A. (1999). Is geographical proximity necessary in the innovation networks in the era of global economy? GeoJournal, 49(4), 373–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rosenberg, N. (1990). Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)? Research Policy, 19(2), 165–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Salimi, N., Bekkers, R., & Frenken, K. (2013). Governance and success of university-industry collaborations on the basis of Ph. D. projects: An explorative study. Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS), working paper, No. 13.05.Google Scholar
  28. Shrum, W., Genuth, J., & Chompalov, I. (2007). Structures of scientific collaboration. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Teece, D. J. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. Research Policy, 15(6), 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Thune, T. (2009). Doctoral students on the university–industry interface: A review of the literature. Higher Education, 58(5), 637–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Torre, A., & Rallet, A. (2005). Proximity and localization. Regional Sciences, 39(1), 47–59.Google Scholar
  32. Williamson, O. E. (1975). Markets and hierarchies (pp. 26–30). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations