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Towards a theory of interprofessional collaboration in the commercialization of biotechnology
Niemi, Robert John

1993, Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, Organizational Behavior.
Transfer of technology from university based research centers to commercial enterprises is a complex process but nowhere is it more challenging than in the field of biotechnology. To facilitate the exchange many states have established biotechnology centers – bridging organizations between research and commerce. The centers are brokers between scientists and entrepreneurs, and provide basic administrative services, e.g., arranging market opportunities and making introduction to financial resources. At its heart though the process calls for building collaborative relationships. Thirty-nine dyadic interprofessional relationships between scientists, entrepreneurs, and biotechnology center staff, at six biotechnology centers, are analyzed. Informants are members on 18 commercialization projects. Two types of collaboration are suggested. Interprofessional Collaboration is an emergent process of learning among autonomous stakeholders in a problem domain, where standard roles are not applicable, to form a shared ethic leading to creative solutions to domain level issues. Cooperation, on the other hand, is an interactive process to manage recurring issues of a problem domain in accordance with established values, norms and structures. Three project strategies ar e identified. Each strategy reflects an increasing level of complexity of intentionalities, and of collaborative interrelationships. Technology Exchange is a task dominant process of cooperation to adapt and use technological innovations in novel situations. Team Building is a highly interpersonal process of collaboration to establish a flow of technology innovations from scientist to entrepreneur which will be fruitful over time. Converting Scientists to Entrepreneurs is a highly interpersonal process as the scientist gains help in becoming an entrepreneur. Moreover, it is highly intrapersonal for the scientist undergoing transformation of professional roles. Grinnell (1967) posits a four stage, developmental model of collaboration involving task, and interpersonal interactions. Four interpersonal collaborative factors that underlie the process are identified: Attunement – understanding of the professional roles of others; Role Free Collaboration – engaging in activities beyond one’s own professional role boundaries; Goal Directedness – agreement on task, and interpersonal goals; and, Cooperative Energy – voluntary investment of self in project activities. Moreover, the findings differentiate between the first three stages in Grinnell’s model, and support its use in the analysis of commercialization activities in biotechnology and similar nascent scientific fields. In application, the study suggests a new role for biotechnology center staff – active participation on commercialization projects, using project strategies to facilitate collaborative relationships among scientists, entrepreneurs and scientist-entrepreneurs.
Donald Wolfe (Advisor)
271 p.

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Niemi, Robert "Towards a theory of interprofessional collaboration in the commercialization of biotechnology." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Case Western Reserve University, 1993. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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