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A Business Model Perspective on University: Industry Collaboration
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Entrepreneurship and innovation.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to assess whether different business models have a tangible effect on probability for firms to collaborate with universities and public research institutions, regarding their own research and development initiatives.

This is an inductive study which contributes to the existing literature by introducing a business model perspective on firms-universities collaborations throughout the analysis of a completely novel data set. Using business model perspective is not an entirely new thing in economics, for example, it has been successfully applied to study firms' financial performance. However the approach has never been tried to analyze industry-academia collaboration patterns.

Data was compiled though a structured questionnaire about the firms’ research and development efforts by Statistics Sweden which had an additional questionnaire which was structured by KTH INDEK department specifically to address the research question. The survey was distributed to a random sample of 6951 companies in Sweden, which had the possibility to skip questions from KTH INDEK; therefore, a sample in which firms answered all relevant questions was much smaller and constituted 861 companies. Structural equation modeling (SEM) in technique was used for hypothesis testing. Structural equation modeling is a commonly used technique for testing and finding casual relationships between variables, when they are previously unknown. In addition, SEM allows to include latent variables (e.g. business model which cannot be directly observed, therefore the technique was perfectly suitable for the task.

Although, even after multiple iterations on the statistical model, the results confirmed that business model, or at least when it’s primarily defined by what value proposition it brings to firm’s customers, does not statistically affect firm’s propensity to collaborate with a public research institution. The following result signals that that industry-university collaboration networks could be strongly embedded within greater socio-economic networks, where interpersonal ties between counterparties are also important besides economic drivers such as firm’s business model or value proposition, thereby distorting the effect of the business model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Business Model, Research and Development, Theory Testing, University – Industry partnerships, Network Economics
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163224OAI: diva2:799341
Available from: 2016-10-24 Created: 2015-03-30 Last updated: 2016-10-24Bibliographically approved

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