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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Organization and Management | 2015
Thesis number: 13901
Managing university-industry cooperation in Aalto University: A stakeholder approach
Author: Lappeteläinen, Kati
Title: Managing university-industry cooperation in Aalto University: A stakeholder approach
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; verkostot; networks; yhteistyö; cooperation; yritykset; companies; yrittäjyys; entrepreneurship; yliopistot; universities; Aalto-yliopisto; Aalto University
Pages: 92
Key terms: university–industry cooperation, corporate relations, entrepreneurial university,; stakeholder management
At a time when universities have gained a central role in the society as producers of knowledge, innovations and national competitiveness, they are facing several challenges for their mission and role in the 2010s. Society and national governments have growing requirements for universities, in addition to their traditional dual role as makers of research and providers of higher education, in the form of a so-called 'third mission'. Fulfilling this mission is increasingly tied to connections with industry and business.

The objective of this study is to describe university-industry cooperation in Aalto University, the nature of the collaboration, the leading principles and drivers behind it, and the realised outcomes. The aim is to describe the objectives and the reasoning behind the management actions as well as the process and actors of corporate stakeholder management. The outputs are recommendations for managing corporate stakeholders and industry collaboration in Aalto University.

This study is conducted as a case study using Aalto University as the case of university-industry cooperation. The data is constituted of 18 interviews and organisational documents from Aalto University. The interviews are analysed with content analysis and compared with the strategy of the university and internal CR documents.

There are four general principles that describe how university-industry cooperation is managed in Aalto University: Quality research and education as the basis for the cooperation; professors as the central actors; the project approach for industry relations; and long-term win-win partnerships as the objective for industry cooperation. In addition, there are three themes - resources, interaction and internationalisation - that cut through and contribute to all of the principles.

The importance of cooperation, mutual trust, respect, good shared experiences and professional collegiality form the basis for successful partnerships. Mutual interests and benefits, committed top management, interdependency, compatibility, and industry's power to advance a university's mission are qualities of strategic and long-term partnerships. Win-win partnerships are capable to create value for both the university and the industry partner, and to contribute to the goals of the university of high quality research and education, societal impact as well as for brand building.
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