Bridging the cultural divide: Trust formation in university–industry research collaborations in the US, Japan, and South Korea
Academia and industry increasingly work together, but this is not always an easy endeavor. In this article we investigate how relational mechanisms facilitate trust formation in university–industry research collaborations (UICs) in three countries and contribute to the understanding of international similarities and differences in UICs by considering institutional factors, specifically, the strength and maturity of UICs in each country. Analyzing survey data of 618 recent UICs in the US, Japan, and South Korea, we identify the activities of innovation champions as a critical trust building mechanism between firms and universities that complements initial trust formation through tie strength, partner reputation, and contractual safeguards. We find that partner reputation and champion behavior are more important for trust formation in South Korea than in the US and Japan, indicating that in ‘emerging UIC countries’ where most firms and universities have little collaboration experience, reputation and the leadership by innovation champions are more important for trust formation in UICs than in ‘advanced UIC countries’ with strong and mature UIC networks. From a public policy perspective, our findings suggest that networks between firms and universities should be generally strengthened and collaboration partners should be provided with effective contractual safeguards to enhance trust formation in UICs.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Hemmert, M., Bstieler, L. and Okamuro, H. (2014). Bridging the cultural divide: Trust formation in university-industry research collaborations in the US, Japan, and South Korea. Technovation, 34, 10, 605-616.