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postgraduate thesis: Internationalization of collaborative research units in Chinese flagship research universities : an academic perspective on cross-border tiple helix linkages

TitleInternationalization of collaborative research units in Chinese flagship research universities : an academic perspective on cross-border tiple helix linkages
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ma, J. [馬近遠]. (2015). Internationalization of collaborative research units in Chinese flagship research universities : an academic perspective on cross-border tiple helix linkages. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689277
AbstractThis study explores the role of university-based collaborative research units (CRUs) in the internationalization of China’s university-government-industry linkages. Specifically, it examines how CRUs' R&D cooperation with multinational corporations (MNCs) affects the roles and responsibilities of research universities in local and global collaborations. It delves into the effectiveness of different organizational structures of the Chinese CRUs in developing R&D strategies, goals and activities to facilitate university-MNC partnerships. The thesis draws on data collected through a multiple case-study approach at Tsinghua University (THU) and Peking University (PKU). On the basis of the superstructure analysis on Science & Technology policies and descriptive statistics as well as structure analysis on THU and PKU’ international collaboration settings and strategies, data collected through case studies were analyzed to explain how understructure CRUs interact with global and local stakeholders. This study argues that the CRUs serve as strategic interfaces between the international R&D initiatives of Chinese research universities and MNCs at times when conflicts between imported and indigenous innovation are evolving. The collaborative CRUs possess unique advantages for reconciling the contradiction between global and local stakeholders. They primarily achieve the reconciliatory goals by generating knowledge spillover from the MNCs’ innovative R&D to China’s national innovation system, and fully engaging the indigenous innovation capacity of leading scholars and their research teams in Chinese research universities. This study points to a prevalent dichotomy of CRUs in the discourse of Chinese research collaborations: i.e., substantive and virtual CRUs. The university- MNC joint research institutes (JRIs) at THU are mostly virtual CRUs, which always face the challenge of staff retention; while the substantive ones possess an advantage in this regard, which is favorable for undertaking the MNCs’ forward-looking innovative R&D. However, a disciplinary “role strain” is faced by full-time researchers of interdisciplinary substantive CRUs, who have to deal with the psychological loss of a disciplinary identity when they are officially affiliated with interdisciplinary CRUs. This study suggests that a semi-substantive structure is ideal for CRUs’ undertaking of boundary-crossing research (e.g., international and interdisciplinary) while giving researchers an opportunity to avoid disciplinary “role strain”. In the context of R&D internationalization, as cross-boundary cooperative strategies have become increasingly prominent, the JRIs have grown to be an important category of CRUs. Furthermore, they can contribute to releasing another “role strain” faced by THU and PKU researchers who are interested in undertaking industrial projects: they have to sacrifice time and energy that is more commonly allocated to governmental projects, because the research outputs of government projects are much more valued by the university promotion and appraisal systems than those of industrial projects. The study foresees the role of university-MNC JRIs in promoting the innovation content of international industrial projects. This study expands on and enriches the conceptualization of the higher education internationalization by examining the overlaps of industrial, university and governmental perspectives at the micro level of analysis. It identifies and predicts the specific features and contributions of the Chinese university-based CRUs when these understructure-level research units are pulled into the process of R&D internationalization.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPublic-private sector cooperation - China
Research and development partnership - China - International cooperation
Academic-industrial collaboration - China
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222386

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMa, Jinyuan-
dc.contributor.author馬近遠-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-13T01:23:24Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-13T01:23:24Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationMa, J. [馬近遠]. (2015). Internationalization of collaborative research units in Chinese flagship research universities : an academic perspective on cross-border tiple helix linkages. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689277-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222386-
dc.description.abstractThis study explores the role of university-based collaborative research units (CRUs) in the internationalization of China’s university-government-industry linkages. Specifically, it examines how CRUs' R&D cooperation with multinational corporations (MNCs) affects the roles and responsibilities of research universities in local and global collaborations. It delves into the effectiveness of different organizational structures of the Chinese CRUs in developing R&D strategies, goals and activities to facilitate university-MNC partnerships. The thesis draws on data collected through a multiple case-study approach at Tsinghua University (THU) and Peking University (PKU). On the basis of the superstructure analysis on Science & Technology policies and descriptive statistics as well as structure analysis on THU and PKU’ international collaboration settings and strategies, data collected through case studies were analyzed to explain how understructure CRUs interact with global and local stakeholders. This study argues that the CRUs serve as strategic interfaces between the international R&D initiatives of Chinese research universities and MNCs at times when conflicts between imported and indigenous innovation are evolving. The collaborative CRUs possess unique advantages for reconciling the contradiction between global and local stakeholders. They primarily achieve the reconciliatory goals by generating knowledge spillover from the MNCs’ innovative R&D to China’s national innovation system, and fully engaging the indigenous innovation capacity of leading scholars and their research teams in Chinese research universities. This study points to a prevalent dichotomy of CRUs in the discourse of Chinese research collaborations: i.e., substantive and virtual CRUs. The university- MNC joint research institutes (JRIs) at THU are mostly virtual CRUs, which always face the challenge of staff retention; while the substantive ones possess an advantage in this regard, which is favorable for undertaking the MNCs’ forward-looking innovative R&D. However, a disciplinary “role strain” is faced by full-time researchers of interdisciplinary substantive CRUs, who have to deal with the psychological loss of a disciplinary identity when they are officially affiliated with interdisciplinary CRUs. This study suggests that a semi-substantive structure is ideal for CRUs’ undertaking of boundary-crossing research (e.g., international and interdisciplinary) while giving researchers an opportunity to avoid disciplinary “role strain”. In the context of R&D internationalization, as cross-boundary cooperative strategies have become increasingly prominent, the JRIs have grown to be an important category of CRUs. Furthermore, they can contribute to releasing another “role strain” faced by THU and PKU researchers who are interested in undertaking industrial projects: they have to sacrifice time and energy that is more commonly allocated to governmental projects, because the research outputs of government projects are much more valued by the university promotion and appraisal systems than those of industrial projects. The study foresees the role of university-MNC JRIs in promoting the innovation content of international industrial projects. This study expands on and enriches the conceptualization of the higher education internationalization by examining the overlaps of industrial, university and governmental perspectives at the micro level of analysis. It identifies and predicts the specific features and contributions of the Chinese university-based CRUs when these understructure-level research units are pulled into the process of R&D internationalization.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshPublic-private sector cooperation - China-
dc.subject.lcshResearch and development partnership - China - International cooperation-
dc.subject.lcshAcademic-industrial collaboration - China-
dc.titleInternationalization of collaborative research units in Chinese flagship research universities : an academic perspective on cross-border tiple helix linkages-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5689277-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5689277-

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