Full citation

Lockett, N., Cave, F., Kerr, R. & Robinson, S. (2009). The Influence of Co-location in Higher Education Institutions on Small Firms’ Perspectives of Knowledge Transfer. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 21(3), 265-283.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The authors use in-depth, longitudinal, reflexive case study methods to investigate how small firm entrepreneur’s views of university co-located knowledge transfer change over time. The paper identifies four key areas of impact: increased strategic focus, greater awareness of core competencies, enhanced research and development activities, and the importance of both technical and business support. Companies gained a greater appreciation of the underlying complexities and value-added of effective knowledge transfer.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Small business (less than 500 employees), University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Carriers:

  • When small businesses co-locate in a university research and development setting, there are opportunities for university academics to experience, first-hand, real-world business needs and challenges.
    Literature review and longitudinal case study results.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • When small businesses co-locate in a university research and development setting, it can help them to become more focused and strategic in their planning and draw on university-based expertise in order to do. The companies can also gain a better appreciation of strategic planning and focus their business activities. This can translate into a greater emphasis on business planning at the strategic level (the future development of the business) as well as a more sophisticated understanding of knowledge transfer as a two-way process and an increased interest in the social and political impact of collaborative efforts.
    Literature review and longitudinal case study results.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 4, KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • When small businesses co-locate in a university research and development setting, there are opportunities to enhance their image by building on the credibility that is attached to the university research and development facility.
    Literature review and longitudinal case study results.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Tip 4.6
  • In many cases, the knowledge transfer (knowledge translation) needs of small companies change over time. It is also rare that they possess as complete a skill set (or the time available) as they need to develop all aspects of their business. In addition to the creation or co-creation of new ideas, knowledge transfer can be viewed as a business process, or set of interconnected processes, with the potential to enhance commercialization. The overall process needs planning both generically (in the sense that different ‘standard’ route maps for a firm’s development might be developed) and individually (in that different firms might need to call on different kinds of support at different times). A more structured yet flexible approach to planning for knowledge transfer support should be able to foresee and accommodate the differing support needs of entrepreneurs at different times in the commercialization process.
    Literature review and longitudinal case study results.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • When small businesses co-locate in a university research and development setting, it tends to increase the company’s awareness of their core competencies and strengths and weaknesses — in a realistic manner.
    Literature review and longitudinal case study results.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Tip 1.3

Secondary Findings

Carrier: Knowledge exploitation (the transfer and adoption of knowledge and technology through commercialization) can be a complex process. It can benefit from simplification, through the sharing of best practice and use of specialist and expert facilitation. (Lockett [2006])
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3, Step 3.1