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Evidence on how academics manage their portfolio of knowledge transfer activities

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  • Landry, Réjean
  • Saïhi, Malek
  • Amara, Nabil
  • Ouimet, Mathieu

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether six broad categories of knowledge transfer activities undertaken by academics: the creation and diffusion of knowledge through publications, transmission of knowledge through teaching, informal knowledge transfer, patenting, spin-off formation and consulting activities, are complementary, substitute, or independent, as well as the conditions under which complementarities, substitution and independence among these activities are likely to emerge. This investigation relied on data regarding 1554 researchers funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Contrary to prior studies which have examined complementarities and the determinants of knowledge transfer activities in separate models, this study relied on a multivariate path model to reflect the fact that in practice, academics consider simultaneously whether or not to undertake multiple knowledge transfer activities. Overall, the results point to the existence of three very different types of knowledge transfer portfolios of activities: a first portfolio made up of complementary activities which are interdependent and reinforce each other. This portfolio includes publications, patenting, spin-off creation, consulting and informal knowledge transfer. A second portfolio includes teaching activities and publication outputs which are substitute for each other. A third portfolio comprises teaching activities and other activities independent from teaching, namely, patenting, spin-off creation, consulting and informal knowledge transfer. Each of these three portfolios of knowledge transfer activities emerged under different conditions. Implications are derived for managerial practice and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Landry, Réjean & Saïhi, Malek & Amara, Nabil & Ouimet, Mathieu, 2010. "Evidence on how academics manage their portfolio of knowledge transfer activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1387-1403, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:10:p:1387-1403
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