A case study of a university-industry partnership (UIP) in science and technology: What drives extraordinary performance?



Campbell, Neil
(2018) A case study of a university-industry partnership (UIP) in science and technology: What drives extraordinary performance? Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

Background In the 21st century knowledge economies, the creation of knowledge is important for the advancement of society through innovation and economic development. Open innovation has been the knowledge creation and utilisation process whereby universities and industry work in partnership to advance economic means. These university-industry partnerships (UIPs) historically have made the universities more entrepreneurial in their knowledge pursuits and industry more research and development oriented. Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to research a single case study involving the University of Liverpool and Unilever Corporation through the interactions within a Centre for Materials Discovery (CMD). The partnership between the parties is notable for its sustained and extraordinary success in the discovery of new chemical entities (NCEs) for new product development. Findings of the empirical research will advance the knowledge for the design, formation and operation of an UIP by innovation professionals. Methodology A qualitative research method with ethnography approach to inquiry through access of a singlecase study. The study utilised semi-structured, open-ended interviews with past and present UIP participants. The researcher was embedded as a participant-observer within the UIP. The methodology will be used to build a rich understanding of the practices of the CMD UIP. 3 Findings The research findings discovered five key categorical themes that drove the sustained extraordinary success of the CMD UIP. Interwoven into these five categorical themes were two cross-cutting global themes that added more synergy and depth to the findings. Originality The literature is sparse on sustainability of extraordinary performance within UIPs. The CMD UIP was notable for sustained and extraordinary outputs that make the empirical findings a contribution to the literature regarding UIPs for innovation professionals. Conclusions This thesis is a single case study of the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and Unilever Corporation’s partnership centered on high-throughput chemistry compound discovery for consumer products in the hygiene, personal care and retail markets. This partnership has produced multi-billion dollar revenues for Unilever in new products and advanced the research stature for a major university. Based upon the empirical findings, I have constructed an actionable framework that can be used by innovation professionals when designing, organising and operating UIPs in the knowledge economies of the 21st century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Divisions: Fac of Humanities & Social Sci > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 06:38
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 05:32
DOI: 10.17638/03020866
Supervisors:
  • Ellwood, Paul
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3020866