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Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management for Public to Private Knowledge Transfer: An Analytic Review of the Literature


  • Branco Ponomariov

    (University of Texas)

  • Craig Boardman

    (Ohio State University)


This paper reviews the current academic thinking on knowledge transfer channels between universities and private industry, from a human resource perspective. It also offers a general framework for “re-organising” the literature, so as to identify gaps in the understanding of organisational behavior and human resource management for university-industry knowledge transfer. The review highlights that knowledge transfer channels with highest “relational intensity” are also most valued by industry, and that most knowledge transfer channels are not currently institutionalized or formalized. It concludes that knowledge transfer between universities and industry is characterized by important management challenges, which require an understanding of the extent and nature of individuals’ involvement. However, the existing literature emphasises the outcomes rather than processes of knowledge transfer. Future research looking at knowledge transfer processes at the individual and organizational level of analysis would provide valuable information for better policy-making. Comportement des organisations et gestion des ressources humaines dans le cadre des transferts de connaissances du public vers le privé : Revue analytique de littérature Ce document donne un état des lieux de la réflexion universitaire sur les différents canaux utilisés pour les transferts de connaissances entre les universités et l’industrie, sous l’angle des ressources humaines. Il propose également un cadre général pour « réorganiser » la littérature existante afin de mettre en évidence les points d’ombre qui subsistent quant au comportement des organisations et à la gestion des ressources humaines dans le cadre des transferts de connaissances du monde universitaire vers l’industrie. L’étude souligne que les canaux de transfert de connaissances caractérisés par une forte « intensité relationnelle » sont aussi les mieux appréciés par l’industrie, et que la plupart des canaux de transfert de connaissances ne sont actuellement pas officialisés ou formalisés. Elle conclut que les transferts de connaissances posent des problèmes en termes de management, qui requièrent une meilleure compréhension de la nature et de la portée de l’engagement des individus. Or, la littérature existante est focalisée sur les résultats et non sur les processus de transfert de connaissances. Des recherches analysant les processus de transferts de connaissances aux niveaux individuel et organisationnel permettraient de produire des informations utiles pour l’élaboration des politiques.

Suggested Citation

  • Branco Ponomariov & Craig Boardman, 2012. "Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management for Public to Private Knowledge Transfer: An Analytic Review of the Literature," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2012/1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2012/1-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Gurney, Thomas & Horlings, Edwin & van den Besselaar, Peter & Sumikura, Koichi & Schoen, Antoine & Laurens, Patricia & Pardo, Daniel, 2014. "Analysing knowledge capture mechanisms: Methods and a stylised bioventure case," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 259-272.
    2. Irene Martín-Rubio & Diego Andina, 2016. "University Knowledge Transfer Offices and Social Responsibility," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-19, December.

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