Title: Collaboration with scientific partners: the mediating role of managerial mechanisms

Authors: Valentina Lazzarotti; Raffaella Manzini; Anna Nosella; Luisa Pellegrini

Addresses: University Cattaneo, Corso Matteotti 22, Castellanza, Italy ' University Cattaneo, Corso Matteotti 22, Castellanza, Italy ' University of Padova, Stradella S. Nicola 3, Vicenza, Italy ' University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi, 2, Italy

Abstract: Open innovation literature suggests that firms can improve their innovation performance by learning from different actors and, among them, universities, research institutes and innovation intermediaries can play a relevant role. However, the success of such collaborations is still debated. In particular, the firms' internal organisational context seems to be crucial when explaining the success or failure of open innovation: firms attempting to leverage partners' knowledge must design an appropriate internal organisation, made up of organisational practices and managerial mechanisms. Despite this assumption, the role of the firm's internal context in fostering the success of open innovation is poorly investigated, in particular in the case of scientific partners (such as universities and research centres). Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the relations among collaboration behaviour between a firm and scientific partners, managerial mechanisms and both sides of innovative performance (i.e. novelty and efficiency). Our study, based upon a survey research developed in Finland, Italy and Sweden, suggests that collaborations with scientific partners should be carefully managed, through the development and implementation of managerial mechanisms, in order to foster performance. These managerial mechanisms emerge just as the means (i.e. the mediator) through which the collaboration behaviour can foster innovative performance.

Keywords: scientific partners; collaboration intensity; managerial mechanisms; innovative performance; open innovation; universities; research centres; industrial collaboration; university-industry cooperation; Finland; Italy; Sweden.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLIC.2016.075699

International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 2016 Vol.13 No.2/3, pp.216 - 237

Received: 10 Jan 2015
Accepted: 19 Nov 2015

Published online: 31 Mar 2016 *

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