Lockett, Nigel; Kerr, Ron and Robinson, Sarah
Multiple perspectives on the challenges for knowledge transfer between higher education institutions and industry.
International Small Business Journal, 26(6) pp. 661–681.
Knowledge transfer (KT) has been identified as an essential element of innovation, driving competitive advantage in increasingly knowledge-driven economies, and as a result recent UK Government reports have sought to increase awareness of the importance of KT within higher education institutions (HEIs).There is therefore a need for relevant empirical research that examines, from multiple perspectives, how KT policy is translated into practice within HEI contexts.This article responds to this need by presenting an in-depth qualitative case study based on over 50 semi-structured interviews with university-based academic and non-academic participants and representatives of small firms involved in InfoLab21, a high profile `centre of excellence' for research, development and commercialization of information and communications technology (ICT) in north-west England, UK. The study considers what the key practices of KT are and what promotes and/or hinders their development. Four overarching themes are identified: (1) motivation and reward mechanisms; (2) process management and evaluation; (3) clustering and brokerage; and (4) trust and bridge building. Each theme is considered from multiple perspectives and areas for further research are suggested.
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