Learning in Research Collaborations With Universities: The Case Study of Iranian Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical Industries

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Learning in collaboration projects with universities is one of the common methods in recent decades. Some of these projects have led to learning for industries, while others have suffered from a lack of learning. Most of the studies that have examined the dimensions and factors affecting the performance of these projects have been done in developed countries. However, considering the different nature of learning in developing countries, this issue needs more attention. This paper addresses two basic issues, namely the factors that affect the learning of companies in collaboration projects with universities in developing countries and the things that industries in these countries learn from universities. To answer these questions, 9 collaboration projects with universities in Iranian oil, gas, and petrochemical industries were selected, 15 experts active in the industry, academia, and government related to these projects were interviewed, and the data was analyzed by thematic analysis. Twenty five factors affecting learning were classified into 6 groups, the most important of which were collaboration control mechanisms, rules and procedures, university business model, degree of partnership between the parties, fitness of the content of the collaboration to the industry features, trust between the parties, and competence of the university team leader. The results also showed that companies in developing countries usually pursue exploitative learning in collaboration projects with universities. In these countries, mature industries active in older technologies typically pursue exploitative learning, and new technology-based firms seek explorative learning in collaborations.


Main Subjects

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