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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Strategy | 2015
Thesis number: 14326
Endogenous performance factors of strategic partnerships - Case: Public-private partnership between firm and university within the same national context
Author: Duk, Olga
Title: Endogenous performance factors of strategic partnerships - Case: Public-private partnership between firm and university within the same national context
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
Index terms: strategia; strategy; johtaminen; management; kumppanuus; partnership; yhteistyö; cooperation; yksityinen sektori; private sector; julkinen sektori; public sector; yliopistot; universities; yritykset; companies
Pages: 113
Key terms: strategic partnerships; alliances; success factors; inter-organizational relations; IORs; private-public; university-firm
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY Research aims at enriching the understanding of partnership success factors that originate from within of the partners' relationships and their interplay in real life. This aim is achieved by developing a structural model of partnership success, which includes major groups of success factors, interdependence between those and mechanisms of each factor's influence on partnership success. Success of a partnership in this study is defined as a partnership's ability to create long-term strategic benefits for both of the partners. The research includes a case study that examines the applicability of the partnership success factor model in a particular case characterized as private-public cooperation between a university and a firm.

RESEARCH METHOD The study includes extensive literature review and an empirical research. In line with the exploration nature of the study's objective, the case study conducted here follows qualitative research tradition. It is a case study of a single partnership with clear dual structure, reflected in interviewing for the research representatives of both partner organizations. Unit of analysis is the partnership relationship between the university and the company. Research data consists of six in-depth semi-structured interviews with persons from different hierarchy levels, and partnership-related documentation. The data has undergone multiple rounds of interpretations and has been analyzed based on the construct identified in literature review.

FINDINGS The study contributes to studies of Inter-organizational relations. Theoretical contributions of the study include the exploration of cultural learning between the partners, which is essential for partnership success as it is one of the prerequisites for knowledge-based trust and effective partnership management. Cultural learning between partners also suggests that partnerships might act as a vehicle of cultural transformation. In addition, the study find that in some cases, due to heterogeneity and internal dynamics of partners' organization, analysis of cooperation at the level of organizations might not be effective and call for analysis at the level of individuals instead. Managerial contributions of this study include synthesis of the model of partnership success factors that is easy to use in managerial context and exploration of specifics of university-firm cooperation. One of the most important for managerial contributions is finding suggesting that actions of the managers have a significant influence on partnership performance and have considerable potential to assist success of a partnership even in unfavorable initial conditions.
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