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Title: What contribution does the evolving academic entrepreneur/technology transfer manager relationship make to the absorptive capacity of university spin-outs?
Author: Chao, Dorrie Yi-Wen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 4922
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of this study is to reduce the ambiguity of the university technology transfer (UTT) process by monitoring the interactions and the antecedent factors, including prior knowledge and experience, of the key stakeholders – University Technology Transfer Managers (TTMs) and Academic Entrepreneurs (AEs) –in the creation of university spin-out. This study develops a novel conceptual framework by using absorptive capacity (AC) to understand the determinants that constitute university spin-out AC, the role of TTMs and AEs and the impact of their collaborative and synergistic relationship upon different stages of the spin-out process. Based on the exploratory nature of this research, this study adopts a multiple case study methodology and qualitative approach to investigate relationship building and collaboration between university AEs and TTMs within the process of spin-out. The investigation was made up of thirteen case studies with twenty-six interviewees (thirteen TTMs and thirteen AEs, as pairs), from eleven universities across the UK. The research findings reveal that prior knowledge (consisting of experience, background, networks, personal attributes, and motivation) is of great value to both TTMs and AEs, as it shapes and highlights the complementary function of each of their roles in the spin-out process, and contributes to spin-out AC in various ways. Prior knowledge also helps TTMs and AEs to act as the cornerstone of university spin-out combinative capabilities (that is, shared language, connectedness, close communication, tighter interaction, and trust building), which facilitate the spin-out process and assist AC development as a whole through their synergistic effect. This study adds to the UTT and AC literature by addressing antecedent factors, explorative and exploitative learning, and areas for possible improvement of AE and TTM collaboration and of the spin-out process as a whole. It aims to provide a more explicit understanding of the process of UTT and the stakeholders involved, leading to better control and development of UTT related activity, and contributes both to present and future research and to policy making.
Supervisor: Huber, Franz Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available