This paper combines the literature on knowledge transfer and that on organizational behavior to analyze how perceived empowerment and perceived engagement affect knowledge transfer offices’ (KTOs’) performance, measured in terms of the number of license agreements.
The authors measured the cognitions which constitute perceived empowerment and perceived engagement through a survey sent to Italian KTOs’ professionals. The authors performed “fuzzy set qualitative analysis” to investigate if this cognition, together or in isolation, may influence KTOs’ management performance, measured by the number of license agreements.
The results highlight the role of individual cognitions in influencing KTOs’ performance. Furthermore, an important finding from the analysis of the main configurations is that the co-presence of perceived engagement and perceived empowerment leads to more license agreements only in the presence of specific individual cognitions. More precisely, the level of organizational citizenship behavior, the degree to which an individual influences results at work (degree of impact) and the value of a work goal (degree of meaning) are the cognitions which lead to a higher number of license agreements.
Despite the growing interest in the investigation of the determinants of KTOs’ performance, a relevant research gap still concerns the explanation of KTOs’ performance considering individual cognitions such as attitudes, norms, perceived behavioral control and intentions. This study looks at the combined effect of the individual cognition of perceived engagement and perceived empowerment on KTOs’ performances.
The authors thank the Netval association and Italian technology transfer professionals for allowing this study. The authors extend their sincere thanks to Professors Gretchen Spreitzer and Emma Soane for providing very useful feedbacks to a previous version of the present study and Dr Giulio Ferrigno for providing interesting methodological suggestions.
Cucino, V., Del Sarto, N., Di Minin, A. and Piccaluga, A. (2021), "Empowered or engaged employees? A fuzzy set analysis on knowledge transfer professionals", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1081-1104. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-05-2020-0388
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