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The relationship between academic consulting and research performance: Evidence from five Spanish universities

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  • Rentocchini, Francesco
  • D'Este, Pablo
  • Manjarrés-Henríquez, Liney
  • Grimaldi, Rosa

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between engagement in consulting activities and the research performance of academic scientists. The study relies on a sample of 2678 individual faculty, from five Spanish universities, who have been recipients of publicly funded grants or have been principal investigators in activities contracted by external agents over the period 1999–2004. By implementing a propensity score matching estimator method, we show that engaging in consulting activities has an overall negative relationship with the average number of ISI-publications. However, the effect of consulting on the scientific productivity of academic scientists depends on the scientific fields and the intensity of engagement in consulting activities. Academic consulting is found to be negatively correlated with the number of publications in the fields of ‘Natural and Exact Sciences’ and ‘Engineering’, but not in the case of ‘Social Sciences and Humanities’. When the intensity of consulting activity is taken into account at the discipline level, we find that engaging in consulting activities is negatively correlated with scientific productivity only for high levels of involvement in consulting activities, but not for moderate ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Rentocchini, Francesco & D'Este, Pablo & Manjarrés-Henríquez, Liney & Grimaldi, Rosa, 2014. "The relationship between academic consulting and research performance: Evidence from five Spanish universities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 70-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:32:y:2014:i:c:p:70-83
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2013.11.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodica Pamfilie & Smaranda Giusca & Robert Bumbac, 2014. "Academic research – a catalyst for the innovation process within companies in Romania," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(37), pages 759-759, August.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2464-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hottenrott, Hanna & Lawson, Cornelia, 2017. "Fishing for complementarities: Research grants and research productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-38.
    4. Iorio, Roberto & Labory, Sandrine & Rentocchini, Francesco, 2017. "The importance of pro-social behaviour for the breadth and depth of knowledge transfer activities: An analysis of Italian academic scientists," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 497-509.
    5. Anders Broström & Maureen McKelvey, 2015. "Universities and public research institutes as collaboration partners for firms," Chapters,in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 2, pages 44-64 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Sánchez-Barrioluengo, Mabel, 2014. "Articulating the ‘three-missions’ in Spanish universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1760-1773.
    7. Stefano Bianchini & Francesco Lissoni & Michele Pezzoni & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2016. "The economics of research, consulting, and teaching quality: theory and evidence from a technical university," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(7), pages 668-691, October.
    8. Yi Zhang & Kaihua Chen & Guilong Zhu & Richard C. M. Yam & Jiancheng Guan, 2016. "Inter-organizational scientific collaborations and policy effects: an ego-network evolutionary perspective of the Chinese Academy of Sciences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(3), pages 1383-1415, September.
    9. Fudickar, Roman & Hottenrott, Hanna & Lawson, Cornelia, 2016. "What’s the price of consulting? Effects of public and private sector consulting on academic research," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201603, University of Turin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Academic consulting; Economics of science; Technology transfer;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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