University-industry research collaborations (UICs) are globally increasing and offer substantial potential benefits for both sides. However, they are difficult to manage due to strong differences in organizational cultures between academia and industry. An analysis of survey data from more than 600 UICs and of case studies in Japan, the United States and Korea reveals various similarities and differences across the three countries. UICs in Japan and the United States tend to benefit from the richer experience companies and universities in the two countries have with such projects when compared with Korea. In contrast to the two Asian countries, demands by universities’ technology transfer offices tend to hamper UICs in the United States. Across all three countries, key UIC success factors are pre-existing ties between the partners, similarities in backgrounds and working styles, the existence of innovation champions who promote the project, and inter-organizational trust.
Dr. Martin Hemmert is Professor of International Business at Korea University Business School in Seoul. Previously, he held research and teaching positions at the University of Cologne, Hitotsubashi University, DIJ Tokyo, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the National University of Singapore. Overall, he has eight years of research experience in Japan and seven years in Korea. His research interests include international comparative management studies, innovation systems, organizational boundaries of firms and inter-organizational research collaborations. He is the co-editor of Technology and Innovation in Japan: policy and management for the twenty-first century (1998) and author of Tiger Management: Korean Companies in World Markets (forthcoming in 2012)