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Exploring determinants of firms’ collaboration with specific universities: employee-driven relations and geographical proximity


  • Ina Drejer
  • Christian Richter Østergaard


Exploring determinants of firms’ collaboration with specific universities: employee-driven relations and geographical proximity. Regional Studies. This analysis of the determinants of firms’ collaboration on innovation with specific universities assesses both the separate and the overlapping importance of geographical proximity and employee-driven relations for collaboration. It is argued that social, cognitive and functional dimensions of employee-driven relations can help firms to overcome geographical distance. Based on a sample of 2301 innovative firms in Denmark, the study demonstrates that employee-driven relations (measured by employees’ and top managers’ place of education and scientific discipline) strongly influence the likelihood that firms will collaborate with specific universities. The study confirms the existence of separate and overlapping effects of employee-driven relations and geographical proximity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ina Drejer & Christian Richter Østergaard, 2017. "Exploring determinants of firms’ collaboration with specific universities: employee-driven relations and geographical proximity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 1192-1205, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:8:p:1192-1205
    DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1281389

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    Cited by:

    1. Utku Ali Rıza Alpaydın & Rune Dahl Fitjar, 2021. "Proximity across the distant worlds of university–industry collaborations," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 689-711, June.
    2. Daniel Gama e Colombo & Renato de Castro Garcia, 2022. "The role of the academic relations of former graduate students in university-firm collaboration," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 1524-1548, October.
    3. Atta-Owusu, Kwadwo & Fitjar, Rune Dahl & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2021. "What drives university-industry collaboration? Research excellence or firm collaboration strategy?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).
    4. Horváth, Krisztina & Berbegal-Mirabent, Jasmina, 2022. "The role of universities on the consolidation of knowledge-based sectors: A spatial econometric analysis of KIBS formation rates in Spanish regions," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    5. Østergaard, Christian Richter & Drejer, Ina, 2022. "Keeping together: Which factors characterise persistent university–industry collaboration on innovation?," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).

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