Irina Nikolayevna Isaeva (Nord University Business School, Norway)

Dealing with tensions: How firms employ different strategies to manage tensions in a university-industry research center.

  • Date: 25 February 2020 from 13:00 to 14:00

  • Event location: Seminari Room 1, DiSA Headquarter Bologna, via capo di lucca 34

  • Access Details: Free admission


UIC is an important source of knowledge development and innovation in industry. However, academia and business often experience challenges when collaboration. To ensure fruitful collaborations firms and university-partners must manage the tensions and challenges arising during the collaboration process. Through a longitudinal case-study approach, we aim to gain insights into the firms’ strategies when dealing with the tensions arising in the collaboration. We find that firms who are highly involved in the research center experiences the collaborative tensions related to goal and timeframe dissimilarities in a larger degree, then firms who are less involved in the research center. Furthermore, we find that the highly involved firms employ strategies that are heavily rooted into their own commercial science logics, while firms who are less involved employ strategies that are more adjusted towards the university partners. Furthermore, we find that when firms employ strategies heavily rooted in the firms’ commercial logics, firms find it harder to reduce or mitigate the tensions within the research center. By contrast, firms who employ strategies that are more aligned with the institutional logics of the university partners, manages to reduce the tensions during the collaboration process. We identify changes in the firms’ strategies during the collaboration process and theorize on how different strategies influence the tensions within a collaboration process. Our findings have important implications for how firms actually collaborate during UIC, particularly in research centers, which can contribute to the design of the research center, to strengthen the relationship between university and firms’ partners to enhance knowledge development and innovation.