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Industry PhD Schemes: Developing Innovation Competencies in Firms?

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  • Taran Thune

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  • Pål Børing

Abstract

The paper addresses the question of how firms develop innovation-related competencies, by looking at innovative firms and their partnerships with universities. We argue that university partnerships are a strategy taken by innovative firms to develop technological competencies and innovation capacity, rather than an approach to source externally developed knowledge. Based on resource dependence theory, we argue that firms of different sizes and investment in R&D have different competence needs, this likely influences the extent to which they collaborate with universities. To investigate this, we carried out a mixed methods study of firms that collaborate with universities to develop innovation competencies by participating in Industry-PhD projects. The analyses show inconsistent results. The qualitative study indicated that small and large firms behave different along the patterns expected. However, analyses based on a survey of firms found that the firms where more similar in their approach to university partnerships than expected; and that development of broader competencies, knowledge in core technological areas, R&D competencies and innovation capability were key results in all firms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Taran Thune & Pål Børing, 2015. "Industry PhD Schemes: Developing Innovation Competencies in Firms?," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(2), pages 385-401, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:6:y:2015:i:2:p:385-401
    DOI: 10.1007/s13132-014-0214-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Innovation; Firms; Competencies; Industry PhD;

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