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TitleThe outset of U-I R&D relationships: the specific case of biological sciences
Author(s)Pinheiro, Miguel Nuno Linhares
Pinho, José Carlos M.
Lucas, Cândida
KeywordsSocial capital
ARA model
Biological sciences
Inter-organizational networks
University-industry links
Issue date2015
JournalEuropean Journal of Innovation Management
Abstract(s)Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to draw insights from the actors-resources-activities (ARA) model and social capital literature to identify relevant activities shared by university-industry (U-I) actors prior to R&D cooperation. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a qualitative methodology, a series of interviews were carried out with researchers from the biological sciences domain. Findings – This study found that, at the outset of U-I links, companies’ motivations are strongly organizational, while academics are motivated at a personal level. The interactions grow from low-risk activities to partnerships on complex tasks, and depend on relational resources framed within the ARA and social capital theories. Results showed that shared interests are present at the outset of U-I links and grow thereafter. Trust and commitment were not ubiquitous at the outset, but rather at later stages of the cooperation, as a result of the developed interdependencies. Research limitations/implications – The combination of the ARA model and social capital in U-I links highlighted the different relationship levels (individual vs organizational), the disparities between early and established ties, and the interplay between low- and high-investment activities underlying researchers’ relationships. Several managerial contributions are presented for universities to promote greater integration with industry partners. Originality/value – A new direction of research is presented towards lower levels of U-I cooperation, taking into account the relational resources and the activities shared in each level. This work distinguished the different actors’ motivations and clarified the role of trust and commitment at the outset of U-I links. This first assessment of Portuguese U-I interactions within the biological sciences provided valuable insights for both academics and practitioners.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:DBio - Artigos/Papers

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