Purpose: In this paper, we depart from extant conceptualisations of knowledge translation mechanisms to examine projects as a way to achieve effective knowledge transfer. Our empirical analysis focused on a university–industry research project in the automotive industry. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical analysis was based on a qualitative investigation. We analysed material collected within a research project involving a partnership between two universities and Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA), a multi-brand auto manufacturer with a product range covering several different market segments. We used three data collection techniques: internal document analysis, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings: Our findings show that, in a U-I research project, goals represent a key dimension to support knowledge translation. Defining the goal implies an ongoing negotiation process, where researchers and company employees work together, in order to converge towards a shared meaning of the goal. In this sense, goal orientation and goal-based interaction have significant implications for knowledge translation processes. Originality/value: Studies to date have focussed on the concept of knowledge translation as a way to contextualise the transfer from the source of knowledge to the receiver and to interpret the knowledge to be exchanged. This study expands the understanding of knowledge translation mechanisms in university–industry research settings. It investigates the concept of projects as powerful knowledge translation mechanism in a dynamic and longitudinal perspective. Our contribution provides insight, reflecting on how the use of projects may represent a way to facilitate knowledge transfer and build up new ideas and solutions.

Understanding knowledge translation in university–industry research projects: a case analysis in the automotive sector

De Nito E.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: In this paper, we depart from extant conceptualisations of knowledge translation mechanisms to examine projects as a way to achieve effective knowledge transfer. Our empirical analysis focused on a university–industry research project in the automotive industry. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical analysis was based on a qualitative investigation. We analysed material collected within a research project involving a partnership between two universities and Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA), a multi-brand auto manufacturer with a product range covering several different market segments. We used three data collection techniques: internal document analysis, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings: Our findings show that, in a U-I research project, goals represent a key dimension to support knowledge translation. Defining the goal implies an ongoing negotiation process, where researchers and company employees work together, in order to converge towards a shared meaning of the goal. In this sense, goal orientation and goal-based interaction have significant implications for knowledge translation processes. Originality/value: Studies to date have focussed on the concept of knowledge translation as a way to contextualise the transfer from the source of knowledge to the receiver and to interpret the knowledge to be exchanged. This study expands the understanding of knowledge translation mechanisms in university–industry research settings. It investigates the concept of projects as powerful knowledge translation mechanism in a dynamic and longitudinal perspective. Our contribution provides insight, reflecting on how the use of projects may represent a way to facilitate knowledge transfer and build up new ideas and solutions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4762166
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