Collaboration, innovation and the building blocks of social capital in the technology sector: A comparative analysis of knowledge-creating institutions. The role of individual attributes, policies and environments in the collaboration and productivity of scientists and technologists
Salvador H. Avila Cobo, Stanford University, United States
Stanford University . Awarded
Collaboration between the scientific and private sectors of a nation is an important condition for achieving knowledge-based economic development. Collaboration is also a necessary ingredient for social capital formation. This thesis makes an interdisciplinary exploration of collaboration and social capital formation in the technology sector, by making a comparative analysis of the institutional and psychosocial determinants of collaboration of scientists and technologists that belong to the same research system but are currently working in different regions.
By using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, this research project explores complex issues that condition the degree of collaboration between individuals, including their self-efficacy to collaborate under different scenarios, and their motivations and values. Particular attention is paid to the effectiveness of specific incentives. This work also explores what the individuals consider the main obstacles to collaboration and the influence of different external factors, such as the impact of the specific location where the individuals work and the role that information technologies play as collaborative media. The effect of the determinants of collaboration on the productivity of the individuals is also analyzed.
According to the findings of this study, the reactions to motivators and incentives to collaborate are individually constructed and vary from region to region, even if the institutional framework is very similar in organizations located in different regions. This finding suggests that regions play a significant role in determining the disposition of individuals to collaborate and supports my argument that, when studying social-capital formation, it is necessary to consider, besides the institutional and relational aspects of networking, the individual decisional dimension, according to which an individual decision to collaborate is a necessary condition for social capital to exist and survive. In regards to policy-making implications, the results underline the importance of taking into consideration the true main determinants that influence individuals when designing incentive schemes to promote collaboration.
Avila Cobo, S.H. Collaboration, innovation and the building blocks of social capital in the technology sector: A comparative analysis of knowledge-creating institutions. The role of individual attributes, policies and environments in the collaboration and productivity of scientists and technologists. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University.
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