A study on the implication of knowledge transfer and social capital on fostering innovation within the partnership between universities and Technology-Based Small Firms (TBSFs)

Yusup, NH ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5612-799X 2020, A study on the implication of knowledge transfer and social capital on fostering innovation within the partnership between universities and Technology-Based Small Firms (TBSFs) , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (2MB) | Preview
[img] Microsoft Word
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (2MB)

Abstract

To remain competitive in the ongoing rapid transformation in the industry, technology-based small firms (TBSFs) have been establishing partnerships with universities for knowledge transfer to complement their limitations in terms of knowledge, skill and investment. This thesis is concerned with the transfer of knowledge between universities and TBSFs in fostering innovation and understanding the implications of social capital throughout the process. Reviewing previous work, particularly on the topics of knowledge transfer, innovation and social capital shows a clear gap in the literature. There is a lack of a holistic approach that integrates these topics to understand the implications of knowledge transfer and social capital for the fostering of innovation, considering the multiple dimensions of social capital and the subjective view of innovation. And this is particularly limited in the context of partnerships between universities and TBSFs. To address this gap, this study explores how social capital influences the transfer of knowledge in fostering innovation through partnerships between universities and TBSFs in the UK. The study adopts a multi-method qualitative approach, with four case studies of university partnerships with TBSFs through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme. The case studies consist of 13 interviews with the main stakeholders in the partnerships (KTP Associate, Academic Supervisor and Business Supervisor). The second method adopted is the expert interview. A total of 27 expert interviews were conducted, allowing an in-depth understanding to be provided of the implications of knowledge transfer and social capital for the fostering of innovation. Analysis of the findings has highlighted that social capital is significant in facilitating the transfer of knowledge to foster innovation. The study discusses the nature of the interrelation among the dimensions of social capital in promoting the transfer of knowledge to foster different types of innovation, namely product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation and organisational innovation, as well as new reputations for TBSFs. The study acknowledges the importance of developing and sustaining social capital among the partners through the whole process of partnership. Regular communication through formal, informal and online platform channels encourages bi-directional interactions between partners and supports the development of strong relationships between them. The study also highlights the importance and fruitfulness of proximity, informal hierarchies, prior ties and networks with a diversity of skills and knowledge in promoting knowledge transfer to foster innovation. In terms of relational capital, the study highlights the importance of friendship-based and professional relationships in encouraging openness to knowledge transfer. Trust, primarily based on the proven performance and capabilities of the academics, is also significant in facilitating the transfer of knowledge. Commitment, reciprocity, compromise and respect are also found to be necessary for the transfer of knowledge within these partnerships. In terms of cognitive capital, a shared understanding, transparency, shared innovation mindset, shared interests outside the project, common institutional background, cultural fit and, finally, open communication policy help to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in fostering innovation outcomes. This study makes two contributions. Firstly, it provides a holistic view of the implications for knowledge transfer and social capital in fostering innovation within the context of partnerships between universities and TBSFs. The study provides a conceptual framework that illustrates the theoretical interactions between knowledge transfer, innovation and social capital. The framework represents the multidimensionality of social capital in influencing the transfer of knowledge to foster innovation. It provides a shift in the standard view in the social capital literature, from structuralist perspectives to a relational and cognitive perspective. Secondly, in terms of a practical contribution, the research develops a list of recommendations to benefit future partnerships between universities and TBSFs. The recommendations are based on the challenges faced by the stakeholders during the development of innovation outcomes. The lists of recommendation mainly provide understanding to assist the diverse stakeholders within these partnerships. The use of the expert interviews as an additional method generates new insight into the recommendations. Keywords: Knowledge Transfer, Innovation, Social Capital, University-Industry Partnerships, Technology-Based Small Firms

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Udagedara, S (Supervisor) and Griffiths, M (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Nor Hafizah Yusup
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 13:22
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:47
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58939

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year