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The effects of cognitive distance in university-industry collaborations: some evidence from Italian universities

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  • Alessandro Muscio

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  • Andrea Pozzali

    ()

Abstract

Universities have long been involved in knowledge transfer activities and are increasing their efforts to collaborate with industry. However, universities vary enormously in the extent to which they promote, and succeed in commercializing, academic research. In this paper, we focus on the concept of cognitive distance, intended as differences in the sets of basic values, norms and mental models in universities and firms. We assess the impact of cognitive distance on university-industry collaborations. Based on original data from interviews with 197 university departments in Italy, our analysis determines whether cognitive distance is perceived as a barrier to university-industry interactions, and estimates its effects on the frequency of their collaborations. Our results confirm that cognitive, albeit not affecting the probability of departments to collaborate with firms, significantly hinders the frequency of interactions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Muscio & Andrea Pozzali, 2013. "The effects of cognitive distance in university-industry collaborations: some evidence from Italian universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 486-508, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:38:y:2013:i:4:p:486-508
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-012-9262-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Albahari, Alberto & Pérez-Canto, Salvador & Barge-Gil, Andrés & Modrego, Aurelia, 2017. "Technology Parks versus Science Parks: Does the university make the difference?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 13-28.
    2. Giorgio Calcagnini & Germana Giombini & Paolo Liberati & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2016. "A matching model of university–industry collaborations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 31-43, January.
    3. Donato Iacobucci & Alessandra Micozzi, 2015. "How to evaluate the impact of academic spin-offs on local development: an empirical analysis of the Italian case," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 434-452, June.
    4. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9550-z is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Enrico Guzzini & Donato Iacobucci, 2014. "The dark side of R&D collaborations," Working Papers 1405, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    6. Giorgio Calcagnini & Ilario Favaretto & Germana Giombini & Francesco Perugini & Rosalba Rombaldoni, 2016. "The role of universities in the location of innovative start-ups," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 670-693, August.
    7. Anna Giunta & Filippo M. Pericoli & Eleonora Pierucci, 2016. "University–Industry collaboration in the biopharmaceuticals: the Italian case," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 818-840, August.
    8. Briggs, Kristie, 2015. "Co-owner relationships conducive to high quality joint patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1566-1573.
    9. Elena Giaretta, 2014. "The trust “builders” in the technology transfer relationships: an Italian science park experience," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(5), pages 675-687, October.
    10. Victoria Galán-Muros & Peter Sijde & Peter Groenewegen & Thomas Baaken, 2017. "Nurture over nature: How do European universities support their collaboration with business?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 184-205, February.
    11. Paolo Calvosa, 2014. "L’evoluzione del ruolo degli uffici di trasferimento tecnologico delle università italiane e l’impatto sul territorio: il caso del Politecnico di Milano," ECONOMIA E DIRITTO DEL TERZIARIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 81-110.
    12. Taheri, Mozhdeh & van Geenhuizen, Marina, 2016. "Teams' boundary-spanning capacity at university: Performance of technology projects in commercialization," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 31-43.
    13. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrea Filippetti & Simona Iammarino, 2017. "Academic inventors: collaboration and proximity with industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 730-762, August.
    14. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9554-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Muscio, Alessandro & Quaglione, Davide & Ramaciotti, Laura, 2016. "The effects of university rules on spinoff creation: The case of academia in Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1386-1396.
    16. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9548-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0450-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive distance; University-industry collaboration; Knowledge transfer; O31; O33; L31;

    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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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