Engaging in collaborative R&D : an international case study of cross-sector collaboration
Couchman, Paul K. and Fulop, Liz 2005, Engaging in collaborative R&D : an international case study of cross-sector collaboration, in APROS 11 2005 : Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies: 11th International Colloquium, Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 285-295.
This paper examines cross-sector engagement by drawing on a case study of a successful R&D project which involved an Australian Cooperative Research Centre (with CSIRO as a partner), and the eyecare products company Ciba Vision. This project resulted in the market launch of an extended wear contact lens, a break-through product. The engagement process moved through two phases. In an initiation phase, partner reputation and the potential for complementary resources were important in the partnering decision. In an engagement phase, the partners built a relationship and focused on the tasks to be completed. In doing so, they made a number of credible commitments to the venture (most notably to jointly assign project intellectual property between the public and private sector partners), developed a trusting relationship, adopted a disciplined and effective project management approach, learned the capability for cross-sector collaboration management, and put much effort into fostering communication to facilitate team building and the task focus. The management approach taken lead to a positive experience of the project among the partners, and this was positively associated with tangible project outcomes. Such collaborations may persist across projects, but in a disengagement phase negotiations on the conditions of exit may be required. It is concluded that to build a successful cross-sector collaboration requires interpersonal engagement within and across the organizations involved.
Field of Research
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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