Highways of Knowledge

21 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012

See all articles by Katja Cappelen

Katja Cappelen

Handelshøyskolen UMB

Jeppe Højmark


Christian Nielsen

Aalborg University Business School

Date Written: December 21, 2012


The objective of this paper is to discuss mechanisms, enablers and barriers for knowledge transfer in university - industry collaboration projects. The underlying question is how to acquire the right kind of knowledge to stay innovative and competitive in today’s fast changing society. The study is conducted with a qualitative research design. Data is collected through 35 qualitative interviews with Danish and Norwegian representatives from three main categories: Business, research and university students. All respondents have been involved in collaborative projects within recent time, such as student-industry cooperation or collaboration projects between researchers and businesses. This research shows that to secure real value adding through knowledge transfer in university - industry collaboration projects, it is important that the involved parties view each other as equal partners. Allowing for curiosity, mutual sharing and experimentation might lead to unforeseeable, valuable knowledge creation in contrast to secrecy and holding back information. Another key finding in this paper is that the level of reciprocal knowledge transfer is perceived as lower in student - business collaboration projects than in projects involving researchers and businesses. It is argued that creating a better understanding of roles and competences of the involved parties can help diminish the problem. A third significant conclusion is that continuous knowledge sharing throughout the project seems more highly valued by the involved parties than a final report does. This result could have implications for the framing of future collaboration projects in this field.

Keywords: University-industry collaboration, project management, project success, knowledge transfer

JEL Classification: L33, O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Cappelen, Katja and Højmark, Jeppe and Nielsen, Christian, Highways of Knowledge (December 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2192407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2192407

Katja Cappelen

Handelshøyskolen UMB ( email )


Jeppe Højmark


Christian Nielsen (Contact Author)

Aalborg University Business School ( email )

Fibigerstræde 2
Aalborg, DK-9220

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.aau.dk

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