Key process attributes and success factors for collaborative academia-industry research in construction industry project management




Son, Junghye

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Research collaboration between academia and industry is a form of knowledge creation in construction industry project management. This research collaboration is motivated by the intent to provide solutions to issues and problems that industry faces through research expertise and a scientific approach. Notwithstanding the potential benefits acknowledged by researchers, collaborative academia-industry research has not been sufficiently explored and there only exist a few studies addressing research success and success factors. Several main reasons for this include; 1) the success of collaborative academia-industry research has not been well defined, 2) there exist limited empirical studies, and 3) the research process of collaborative academia-industry research has not been systematically investigated.
The primary purpose of this study is to improve the process of the collaborative academia-industry research for construction industry project management by identifying key process attributes and success factors. First, this study suggests a definition of the success and success criteria of collaborative academia-industry research based on literature review. Then this study evaluated more than 150 research efforts of the Construction Industry Institute (CII), a non-profit research organization sponsoring academia-industry collaborative research for more than 30 years, against the established success criteria to identify successful and less than successful research efforts. Multiple methods were adopted for the evaluation including web-based surveys, research product dissemination data, journal citation counts, and expert group assessment. By analysis and triangulation of the data collected from those multiple sources, this study identified 11 research efforts for further analyses. In-depth cases studies on the 11 research efforts were conducted focusing on the research process through interviews with a total of 39 academics and industry practitioners who participated in those research efforts. Information from interviews and other relevant data were analyzed for each case as well as across the 11 cases to identify key process attributes and factors contributing to research success. Consolidated findings from the cross-case analyses generated 9 key process attributes and associated success factors with significant potential to improve the research process of collaborative academia-industry research.



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