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      Values in University–Industry Collaborations: The Case of Academics Working at Universities of Technology

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          Abstract

          In the applied sciences and in engineering there is often a significant overlap between work at universities and in industry. For the individual scholar, this may lead to serious conflicts when working on joint university–industry projects. Differences in goals, such as the university’s aim to disseminate knowledge while industry aims to appropriate knowledge, might lead to complicated situations and conflicts of interest. The detailed cases of two electrical engineers and two architects working at two different universities of technology illustrate the kinds of problems individual scholars face in university–business collaborations. These cases are based on qualitative interviews and additional data and demonstrate that, while value conflicts emerge on the organizational level, it is primarily the individual researcher who must deal with such conflicts. This analysis adds to existing studies in two ways: first, it explicitly addresses normative issues framed in terms of ethical and social values, thereby going beyond the common social-science perspective of university–business collaboration. Secondly, it provides qualitative insights, thereby identifying details and issues not apparent in quantitative studies. In particular, it is evident that university–industry collaborations are prone to value conflicts not only in research but also in education and job training.

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          Most cited references 28

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          PERSUASION WITH CASE STUDIES.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                rafaela.hillerbrand@kit.edu
                Journal
                Sci Eng Ethics
                Sci Eng Ethics
                Science and Engineering Ethics
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                1353-3452
                1471-5546
                16 October 2019
                16 October 2019
                2019
                : 25
                : 6
                : 1633-1656
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.7892.4, ISNI 0000 0001 0075 5874, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and Institute for Philosophy, , KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, ; Karlsruhe, Germany
                [2 ]GRID grid.5292.c, ISNI 0000 0001 2097 4740, Department of Values, Technology and Innovation - TPM - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, , Delft University of Technology, ; Delft, The Netherlands
                Article
                144
                10.1007/s11948-019-00144-w
                6952326
                31620956
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                Original Paper
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                © Springer Nature B.V. 2019

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