Nurture over nature: How do European universities support their collaboration with business?
Abstract Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been placed at the core of regional innovation ecosystems and encouraged to contribute to the social and economic development of the communities where they operate. In response to this change in the environment, HEIs have faced the need to adapt their organisational culture, practices and structures. In spite of the acknowledged relevance of university-business cooperation (UBC) as a source of HEI competitive advantage, and the recognition that appropriate interventions or supporting mechanisms can effectively foster UBC, there is still little systematic understanding of organizational mechanisms in the HEI management of UBC. In order to fill this gap, this paper identifies and evaluates the mechanisms that European HEIs are using to nurture industry collaboration at strategic and operational level and assess their relationship with seven UBC activities. With a sample of 2.157 HEI managers in 33 countries, the main results highlight the importance of the combination of support at both strategic and operational levels and the core role of the management commitment for all UBC activities. The paper concludes with the contribution to theory and the relevant implications for UBC managers and policy makers.
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Volume (Year): 42 (2017)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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