پیگیری فعالیت های انتقال دانش: تجزیه و تحلیل بهره وری از دانشگاه های اسپانیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4717||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 4 March 2013
This paper assesses university efficiency from a multidimensional perspective. First, the study scrutinizes universities using an efficiency measure that incorporates knowledge transfer outputs in the objective function. Second, a cluster analysis complements the efficiency model giving a more comprehensive image of universities' performance. The empirical application considers the Spanish higher education system during 2006–2009. The results point to the presence of heterogeneous orientations among Spanish universities and that universities integrate knowledge transfer in their operations at different intensities. The findings reveal that regional factors related to technological development and entrepreneurial culture strongly influence universities' efficiency and their involvement in knowledge transfer activities. As regards knowledge transfer across Spanish universities, results tend to give ammunition to the argument that effective support policies should have the capacity to be customized to fit the profile of the targeted universities and regions
Academics, practitioners and policymakers acknowledge the introduction of the Bayh–Dole Act in 1980 in the US as a breakthrough policy that helps bridge the gap between industry and universities' knowledge transfer activities around the world. This Act promotes the creation of university–industry collaborations, and encourages the dissemination of innovations from universities to businesses. European countries adopted similar policies, and in the case of Spain the Fundamental Law of Universities Act (LOU) of 2001 represents the transition to a university model where knowledge transfer enters into the university's core objectives. Further reforms include the modification of the LOU Act in 2007 and the enactment in 2009 of the Spanish university's strategic framework (Spanish Strategy University, EU-2015). This latter reform aims to develop knowledge transfer activities among universities, enhancing the exploitation of knowledge transfer outcomes. This reform translates into legal and structural changes of the Spanish higher education system, establishing new policy frameworks, governance structures, and funding priorities to help universities increase their commitment to their regions. According to this broader view, the role of universities in Spain as key agents for technological developments and innovations is gradually increasing, and universities are now in the agenda of scholars and policymakers. Traditional practices to reach this objective include collaboration with businesses, local or regional public authorities and other actors. However, the benefits arising from these relationships are still far from their true potential, and strongly differ from one university to another. Research efforts attempting to examine universities' operations suffer from some drawbacks which mainly relate to the partial assessment of universities. The strategic relevance of knowledge transfer activities differs across universities, and some universities still place a higher value on other, perhaps more traditional, objectives (Kim, Daim, & Anderson, 2009). Yet, this idea suggests that universities may have different interests guiding their objective function (Sorensen & Chambers, 2008). In the new university paradigm, the introduction of knowledge transfer activities in the university's objective function directly seeks to maximize the efficiency of its operations (Magala, 2012 and Siegel and Phan, 2005). Nevertheless, some authors question whether universities are managing their resources properly (Baert and Shipman, 2005 and Schimank, 2005). At this point, and given the relevance that the active involvement of universities in knowledge transfer has, the main question arising is whether universities are efficiently incorporating this new mission in their objective function. Also, universities are embedded in their regional context; therefore, to corroborate whether the characteristics of local economies constrain the universities' capacity to develop innovations with industry applications is a relevant consideration. Thus, the main objective guiding this paper is to scrutinize Spanish universities' efficiency through the application of a non-parametric technique (Data Envelopment Analysis), incorporating knowledge transfer activities in the university's objective function. Second, to achieve a more comprehensive image of university's performance, a cluster analysis complements the multidimensional efficiency assessment. The second stage analysis introduces, along with variables capturing the university's strategies and infrastructures, exogenous variables related to regional aspects that may help explain efficiency differences among Spanish universities. The Spanish higher education system highly influences R&D sectors, accounting for 26.70% of the total domestic R&D investments in 2008. According to the Spanish Ministry of Education (MEC, 2009), 60.73% of the total R&D workforce in Spain (215,676 people) correspond to researchers. Also, financial support to knowledge transfer activities mainly comes from public administrations (45.60%), followed by the private sector (45.00%) (MEC, 2009). Spanish policies and the changes in the universities' regulatory framework strive to achieve greater knowledge transfer results. However, considerable difficulties still remain and these difficulties mainly relate to the lack of incentives and the limited capacity of faculty to own spin-offs' equity. These barriers diminish universities' potential to effectively engage in knowledge transfer activities. Also, the relatively scarce entrepreneurial culture among Spanish faculty and the presence of formal mechanisms, such as business incubators affiliated to the university with blurred strategies, may contribute to explain the dissimilar effectiveness of universities in commercializing their research outcomes. These arguments give further relevance to this study. The following section presents the literature review. Section 3 describes the sample and the methodological approach. Section 4 offers the empirical results, and Section 5 displays the conclusions and policy implications of the study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study is to examine the efficiency of Spanish universities incorporating knowledge transfer activities in the universities' objective function. The contemporary university has to provide highly qualified graduates and researchers, as well as offering innovative solutions through knowledge transfer mechanisms that foster links with the local industry system. This means that, despite teaching and research are key actions for satisfying society's knowledge demands, universities have to create marketable outcomes from their research results; an action that is likely to increase the university's contribution to regional development. The study of the ways through which universities allocate their resources to achieve their multiple objectives, but specifically their knowledge transfer activities, seems legitimate. Thus, the inclusion of knowledge transfer outputs in the university's objective function, and the consideration of environmental factors in the analysis become critical to explain performance differences in higher education institutions. As a result, this study first proposes the use of a non-parametric technique (DEA) to evaluate universities' efficiency in terms of teaching, research, and knowledge transfer objectives. The second stage of the analysis includes a cluster analysis that considers endogenous and exogenous variables with respect to universities, resulting in the identification of different universities' behavioral pathways. The findings are in line with the notion that universities tend to concentrate on certain specific competencies, suggesting that the intensity in the achievement of their objectives varies across institutions. The presence of specific infrastructures and certain regional characteristics also plays a role, especially the possibility to have access to high technology sectors in the region. Also, the results indicate that accumulated knowledge, previous experience, and knowledge transfer resources lead to the creation of knowledge spillovers that are expected to boost knowledge transfer activities and, more specifically, enhance the creation of new spin-offs within universities. Particularly, the generation of knowledge spillovers is closely linked with the adoption of entrepreneurial mindsets and the idea of the entrepreneurial university defined by Clark (1998), which in turn seems to be linked with better performance results. In terms of policy making, these findings translate in saying that universities should promote entrepreneurial mindsets inside their organizational structures to consolidate their objective function. According to Etzkowitz and Zhou (2007), such an orientation helps universities enhance the interconnectivity of their different internal structures, and create a more fertile setting for the development of new knowledge transfer activities. However, the adoption of entrepreneurial mindsets implies important challenges in the ways universities manage institutional incentives and coordinate organizational practices (Siegel & Phan, 2005). First, universities should design more attractive incentives for faculty members, who constitute the source for new knowledge advances. In this sense, the Spanish regulatory framework for the creation of spin-offs attempts to foster spin-off creation. Nevertheless, the effects of this directive are far from those of other European countries, as some constraints limiting researchers' access to the spinoff's equity still exist, as well as legal impediments for universities to benefit from the impact of technology transfer activities. Second, universities should reformulate organizational processes and structural choices, recognizing that knowledge transfer activities must not only be placed alongside but fully integrated with mainstream teaching and research activities. In any case, results show that Spanish universities are facing these structural changes at different speeds and levels of commitment. A second policy-making issue that is worth mentioning relates to the role played by business incubators. The findings indicate that, for a significant group of Spanish universities, the value added by these infrastructures is rather low. Thus, these universities have to introduce substantial reforms in the functioning of these support mechanisms to ensure a more effective applicability of knowledge transfer outcomes. Concerning the efficiency differences among Spanish universities, results show that these differences may be due to the fact that universities are somewhat embedded in their corresponding regional context. This complicates any effort to converge on a homogenous policy design that aims at consolidating universities as knowledge centers. Public administrations design incentives to promote entrepreneurship within the territory. However, these policies are subordinated to cultural patterns and natural territory barriers. For instance, metropolitan areas face the challenge of having highly fragmented activities but are very active economically, whereas in old industrial regions, reminiscences of earlier activities hinder the development of new economic activities. In peripheral areas, the institutional thinness (small amount of key actors) hampers innovation and knowledge transfer activities (Tödtling & Trippl, 2005). Therefore, one could say that what is desirable in one regional context, in terms of policy making, may not be so in another. The specialization of any territory must be accompanied by a proper analysis of each region's potential. Mimicking policies to enhance universities' performance in different territories without proper adaptation to the specific characteristics of each region would neither help improve universities' performance, nor help increase the understanding of the relationships that exist between the different incentives and mechanisms designed to promote knowledge transfer among universities and the quality of these outputs. Hence, efforts to reform and assess knowledge transfer activities must take these university-specific factors into account. The main limitation of this study relates to the data available. Although the paper identifies and uses reliable variables to assess universities' performance, an interesting addition would be to incorporate other knowledge transfer outputs such as license incomes or revenues from patents in the analysis. Another limitation relates to the absence of longitudinal data that could give a broader perspective to the study.