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Boundary spanning roles in cross-border university-industry collaboration: the case of Chinese multinational corporations
journal contributionposted on 30.07.2020, 10:21 by Simone Corsi, Xiaolan Fu, Cintia Külzer Sacilotto
This paper contributes to open innovation (OI) and boundary spanning literatures by providing a first understanding of industry-based boundary spanners in university-industry (U-I) collaboration through case studies of Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) and their international OI platforms. Organisational roles created by these platforms within the MNCs and their activity of bridging between organisations are examined. The analysis of 25 in-depth interviews in two MNCs located in 8 countries, along with internal documents, sheds light on U-I collaboration practices implemented by Chinese MNCs. Two new boundary spanning roles are identified: Dual Cultural Bridger – as these OI platforms bridge organisational and national cultural gaps to prevent and solve problems in the collaborative process; and International Network Enhancer - as these OI platforms act as trust building and local knowledge listening posts for the MNC’s global network. Managerial and policy implications are provided.
- Business and Economics