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Collaboration for Innovation: A Case Study on How Social Capital Mitigates Collaborative Challenges in University--Industry Research Alliances


  • Marianne Steinmo


Differences in goals and approaches between firms and universities often lead to challenges that prevent the realization of fruitful university--industry collaboration. This paper explores how the development of cognitive and relational social capital can, over time, mitigate such challenges and encourage fruitful collaboration between firms and universities in research alliances for the development of innovations. Using a multi-level perspective at the individual, organizational and alliance levels of social capital, this paper investigates firms participating in two contrasting research alliances: one well-established research alliance and one emerging alliance. This study suggests that the development of both cognitive and relational social capital at the individual, organizational and alliance levels appears crucial for effective collaboration in research alliances over time. Common goals and understandings regarding the collaboration and the creation of personal relationships between the employees of firms and universities helps mitigate collaborative challenges, stimulate cohesion and realize the goal of creating innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Steinmo, 2015. "Collaboration for Innovation: A Case Study on How Social Capital Mitigates Collaborative Challenges in University--Industry Research Alliances," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(7), pages 597-624, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:22:y:2015:i:7:p:597-624
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2015.1105127

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Zhang & Xiaohong Wang, 2017. "Empirical study on influence of university-industry collaboration on research performance and moderating effect of social capital: evidence from engineering academics in China," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(1), pages 257-277, October.
    2. Fikri Zul Fahmi, 2016. "Business networks, social capital and the productivity of creative industries in Indonesia," ERSA conference papers ersa16p351, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Smol, Marzena & Kulczycka, Joanna, 2019. "Towards innovations development in the European raw material sector by evolution of the knowledge triangle," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 453-462.
    4. Rajeev K. Goel & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén & Christoph Grimpe, 2017. "Who instigates university–industry collaborations? University scientists versus firm employees," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 503-524, March.
    5. Steinmo, Marianne & Rasmussen, Einar, 2018. "The interplay of cognitive and relational social capital dimensions in university-industry collaboration: Overcoming the experience barrier," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1964-1974.
    6. Marie Ferru & Marie-Pierre Bes & Michel Grossetti, 2011. "Measuring social proximity in the geography of innovation," Post-Print halshs-01395667, HAL.
    7. Rojas, Mariana Giovanna Andrade & Solis, Edgar Rogelio Ramirez & Zhu, John JianJun, 2018. "Innovation and network multiplexity: R&D and the concurrent effects of two collaboration networks in an emerging economy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1111-1124.
    8. Esther Wit-de Vries & Wilfred A. Dolfsma & Henny J. Windt & M. P. Gerkema, 2019. "Knowledge transfer in university–industry research partnerships: a review," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 1236-1255, August.

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