The purpose of this study is to analyse how different patterns of production factors consumption of Spanish universities lead to specific technology transfer (TT) profiles (outcomes).
Adopting a resource-based view perspective (RBV), qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) is used to analyse the relationship between different combinations of resources – human resources, financial resources and support services – and various portfolios of TT outcomes – intellectual or industrial property agreements, spin-offs and TT income.
Results indicate that there is no unique formula of resource consumption that leads to a specific portfolio of TT outcomes. These results seem to reflect the characteristics and competencies added by universities, along with the characteristics of their socioeconomic context. From a RVB perspective, this indicates that the considered resources are substitutable.
The effectiveness of university policies is expected to vary by university, for example depending on the type of resources that is most relevant in the university’s production process. To develop competitive advantages Spanish public universities must resort to internal intangible resources or specific and inimitable combinations of the available resources.
Since Spanish universities are heterogeneous and display different TT portfolios they address the needs of different users.
Previous studies have failed to acknowledge the heterogeneity among universities. To perform the analysis QCA is used, an innovative methodology in the higher education sector that enables us to purposefully acknowledge institutional diversity (in both resources and results). This allows us to indirectly take into account the capabilities of universities using a more holistic approach to evaluate their competitiveness.
Berbegal-Mirabent, J., Gil-Doménech, D. and de la Torre, E.M. (2021), "Examining strategies behind universities’ technology transfer portfolio: how different patterns of resource consumption can lead to similar technology transfer profiles", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 571-593. https://doi.org/10.1108/CR-01-2020-0013
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