As promoting the engagement of firms and universities through collaborative linkages gathers pace among policymakers, it appears to be pertinent to examine in more detail the mechanisms that underpin their formation. This paper examines the processes by which small firms assess the credibility of their potential partner when engaging in collaborative links with universities. Here, credibility is defined as the ability to deliver the promised knowledge and experience of a particular field when entering into a collaborative linkage with a university, and represents the firms' assessment of the usefulness of the university as a potential partner. The paper presents two main findings; firstly, the credibility of potential university partners is based around the realism, comprehensiveness, and specificity of their knowledge. Secondly, credibility appears to be judged at an individual rather than institutional level. The implications of these findings to theory and practice are also discussed.
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|Published - 1 Dec 2018