Flux and flexibility : a comparative institutional analysis of evolving university-industry relationships in MIT, Cambridge and Tokyo
Author(s)Hatakenaka, Sachi, 1961-
Sloan School of Management.
Lotte Bailyn and D. Eleanor Westney.
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University-industry relationships are in a state of flux. They represent important strategic issues for universities, for industry, and for governments alike. This confluence of interests has led to experimentation in which universities and industry seek to work together, often with strong government support. And yet partnerships are not easy. Academics and industrialists live in two different worlds, and universities are not known for their organizational flexibility. Some universities appear to change flexibly, while others change more slowly and with difficulty. The purpose of this dissertation is three-fold: to identify the nature of change taking place in university-industry relationships; to understand the underlying factors that influence that change; and to explore the underlying process of change. Three cases of MIT, Cambridge University, and Tokyo University are examined to compare their experiences in developing new types of university-industry relationships. I argue that internal and external organizational boundaries have influenced the evolution of the new types of relationships, and that the three universities have defined these boundaries differently. MIT's regulated external boundaries permitted close but bounded relationships with industry, but, on the other hand, its one-way permeable internal boundaries enabled its administration to amplify and institutionalize initiatives. This is contrasted with Cambridge's fuzzy boundaries, which appeared to elicit deeper and more informal and personal relationships in specific local settings. Tokyo's apparently impermeable boundaries, in contrast, led both to formal arm's length relationships as well as to informal but closer and invisible relationships(cont.) The emergence of these relationships has not been a mechanical and deterministic process. Individuals have played an active and important role through "storytelling" to persuade different players to participate in the new relationships. Individuals also developed individual sub-stories that explained the rationale for their own participation. I argue that there are three different types of compatibility between role-stories as told by the players: individual role compatibility, partnership compatibility and organizational compatibility. I then argue that it is these three types of compatibility that have determined the overall strengths of the new behavioral patterns, their ultimate sustainability over time and their replicability across space:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 2002.Includes bibliographical references (p. 279-293).
DepartmentSloan School of Management.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management.