Developing a qualitative understanding of university‐corporate education partnerships

Lindsay Ryan (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 13 March 2007



Collaborations between universities and industry to develop and deliver customised corporate education programs are increasing. The purpose of this paper is to assist managers to make an informed decision on the structure and approach to their corporate education programs by exploring a range of qualitative factors in university‐corporate education partnerships.


This paper presents the findings of a series of qualitative interviews with six senior corporate managers from diverse industries and three university managers on the factors they regard as important in university‐corporate education partnerships.


The research highlights the needs for both universities and corporations to take the time to learn and understand the requirements and expectations of each other and, as in any good relationship, provide flexibility to accommodate these requirements and expectations. The research findings are intended to provide a starting‐point for understanding the nature of the working relationship between universities and corporations in order to successfully develop and deliver corporate education programs in industry.


Most papers on university‐corporate education partnerships are based on opinion or case studies. The originality of this research provides an objective insight into factors that influence the success of university‐corporate education partnerships.



Ryan, L. (2007), "Developing a qualitative understanding of university‐corporate education partnerships", Management Decision, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 153-160.

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