Value co-creation in University-Industry collaboration. An exploratory analysis in digital research projects

  • Francesco Polese
  • Maria Vincenza Ciasullo
  • Raffaella Montera
Keywords: university-industry collaboration; value co-creation; S-D logic; R&D projects; digital platforms; focus group

Abstract

Purpose of the paper: The paper aims to investigate how academic and business actors co-create value when collaborating in digital research projects.

Methodology: Qualitative research was conducted according to a social constructionism approach. Thirty participants comprising Italian university researchers and industry practitioners took part in three focus groups.

Findings: The interplay among resources, interactions, and outcomes was analysed across individual, organisational, and institutional layers to provide a comprehensive understanding of the value co-creation process between university and industry. Some barriers to the co-creation of value also emerged.

Research limitations: The study had some limitations related to the generalisability of the research results. These limitations nonetheless represent potential avenues for future research.

Practical implications: The study contributes practically to the debate on value co-creation between university and industry in the context of digitalisation, highlighting some actions aimed at developing successful research collaborations and facilitating the transfer of knowledge between scientific and economic actors.

Originality of the paper: The entire value co-creation process was examined, as well as both sides of university-industry (U-I) collaboration, which were considered simultaneously. A conceptual framework consisting of building blocks and contextual layers is proposed drawing on the service-dominant (S-D) logic perspective.

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Published
2021-08-31