Knowledge sharing in academic R&D collaborations: does culture matter?

Steffen Kanzler (Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Benjamin Niedergassel (Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Jens Leker (Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Münster, Münster, Germany)

Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-1396

Publication date: 24 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate knowledge sharing of Chinese and German scientists collaborating in a cross‐cultural nanotechnology R&D project. Particularly, the authors analyze cultural differences that might indirectly influence the scientists' intention to share knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative data were gathered from professors and PhDs working in academic Chinese‐German nanotechnology collaboration regarding influencing factors of their intention to share knowledge like subjective norms, anticipated extrinsic rewards and image. Moderated regression analysis was used to identify how nationality influences the relationships between independent variables and the intention to share knowledge.

Findings

The findings show that the analyzed variables generally constitute important influencing factors of the intention to share knowledge. However, moderation analysis suggests that the proposed differences between the Eastern and Western cultures do not significantly affect influencing factors of the intention to share knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of this study is on an academic environment, limiting the generalizability of the results. It promises to be a worthwhile endeavor to investigate possible influencing factors and effects of organizational culture in cross‐cultural collaboration projects more thoroughly in the future, further deepening our understanding of knowledge sharing in collaborative R&D projects.

Practical implications

Cultural differences between Chinese and German researchers might have diminished over the past decades. Both in China and Germany, academic scientists can be expected to largely share the same values, beliefs, assumptions and expectations with regard to their work.

Originality/value

The study at hand is the first analysis of an academic Chinese‐German nanotechnology collaboration.

Keywords

Citation

Kanzler, S., Niedergassel, B. and Leker, J. (2012), "Knowledge sharing in academic R&D collaborations: does culture matter?", Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 6-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/17561391211200902

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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