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Res High Educ. 2011 May;52(3):245-260.

Technology Commercialization Effects on the Conduct of Research in Higher Education.

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Department of Educational Leadership, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana.


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of technology commercialization on researcher practice and productivity at U.S. universities. Using data drawn from licensing contract documents and databases of university-industry linkages and faculty research output, the study findings suggest that the common practice of licensing technologies exclusively to singular firms may have a dampening effect on faculty inventor propensity to conduct published research and to collaborate with others on research. Furthermore, faculty who are more actively engaged in patenting may be less likely to collaborate with outsiders on research while faculty at public universities may experience particularly strong norms to engage in commercialization vis-à-vis traditional routes to research dissemination. These circumstances appear to be hindering innovation via the traditional mechanisms (research publication and collaboration), questioning the success of policymaking to date for the purpose of speeding the movement of research from the lab bench to society.

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