Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Kane, C;Mangematin, V;Geoghegan, W;Fitzgerald, C
2015
March
Research Policy
University technology transfer offices: The search for identity to build legitimacy
Validated
Optional Fields
MULTIPLE ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITIES INDUSTRY-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS BAYH-DOLE ACT ACADEMIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE SCIENCES SCIENTIFIC-KNOWLEDGE PLURALISTIC CONTEXTS QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE AGENCY THEORY TRIPLE-HELIX
44
421
437
Technology transfer offices (TTOs) are of strategic importance to universities committed to the commercialization of academic knowledge. Within the university, TTOs' relationship with academics and management is single agent-multiple principal. When two principals exist in an agency relationship, conflicting expectations can naturally arise. We explore how TTOs build legitimacy by shaping identity with university academics and management. In undertaking this research we draw on 63 interviews with TTO executives across 22 universities in the Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. We find that TTOs use identity-conformance and identity-manipulation to shape a dual identity, one scientific and the other business, with academics and management respectively. We show how this combination of identity strategies is ineffective for legitimizing the TTO. We propose that TIOs' identity shaping strategies are incomplete and need to incorporate a wholly distinctive identity to complement and reinforce preliminary legitimacy claims made through conformance and manipulation. We discuss the potential implications of these findings for scholars, TTO executives and university management. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
AMSTERDAM
0048-7333
10.1016/j.respol.2014.08.003
Grant Details