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An exploratory study of retaining and maintaining knowledge in university technology transfer processes

Miller, Kristel, McAdam, Rodney, Moffett, Sandra and Brennan, Michael (2011) An exploratory study of retaining and maintaining knowledge in university technology transfer processes. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 17 (6). pp. 663-684. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1951016&ini=aob

DOI: 10.1108/13552551111174729


Purpose – This paper focuses on the university science park incubator element of the technology transfer process where knowledge in a variety of forms needs to be retained and maintained. The aim is to investigate the networking competencies of stakeholders involved in the university technology transfer process using absorptive capacity theory to explore how knowledge is externally retained and maintained through these network relations.Design/methodology/approach – This paper undertakes an inductive theory building approach using in-depth multiple stakeholder interviews (n=30). The transcripts and results were analysed using open coding and NVivo. Six technology transfer meetings were also observed.Findings – The findings show that developing and maintaining network relationships can significantly aid the development and retention of knowledge within the university technology transfer process. It was found that conscious effort is made to retain relationships with network stakeholders. Prior knowledge, partner knowledge complementarity and reciprocity, resulting in collective learning, were found to motivate stakeholders to engage in external knowledge retention strategies. The results also supported suggestions in previous literature that relative capacity is an antecedent for absorptive capacity within organisations.Research limitations/mplications – The paper helps in establishing a research agenda for knowledge retention in technology transfer where traditionally the emphasis has been on development of knowledge. The absorptive capacity framework provides a consistent theoretical basis for exploring the role of stakeholders in this area.Originality/value – The paper focuses on how knowledge can be retained in technology transfer settings rather than being restricted to that of development. The use of the absorptive capacity framework has also enabled the concept of relative capacity to be developed within the research giving much needed empirical investigation into its relevance and feasibility.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Computing & Engineering
Ulster Business School > Department of Management and Leadership
Faculty of Computing & Engineering > School of Computing and Intelligent Systems
Ulster Business School > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy
Ulster Business School
Research Institutes and Groups:Business and Management Research Institute
ID Code:20177
Deposited By: Dr Sandra Moffett
Deposited On:05 Oct 2011 08:48
Last Modified:08 Oct 2012 10:52

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