Research Briefing, February 2017

blogimage_researchbriefingEach month, there is new, fascinating research emerging that provides practical insight into the intersector — the space where collaboration among government, business, and non-profit sectors enables leaders to share expertise, resources, and authority to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers up to date, we compile a monthly briefing that captures the newest research, and publish it on our blog, for researchers who want to stay up-to-date on progress in the field of cross-sector collaboration and practitioners who are interested in how this research may be applicable to their work.

This month’s briefing includes articles about

  • innovation in public-private partnerships,
  • a taxonomy of forms of data collaboratives,
  • proactive approaches to university–industry cooperation,
  • university-business cooperation in Finland,
  • P3s in early childhood development,
  • and co-creation in the public sector.

The Impact of Innovation Training on Successful Outcomes in Public–Private Partnerships,” Public Management Review, Lena Brogaard

Abstract: “Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly seen as a way of innovating the production and management of public services. However, the question of what drives innovation in partnerships has so far received only limited attention. Drawing on network governance and collaborative innovation literature, this article presents the findings from a survey among 260 Danish PPPs. The study shows that while innovation training has a significant effect on achieving innovation in PPPs, factors such as trust and institutional support only affect some innovation types. The findings demonstrate the importance of individual innovation skills and a differentiated understanding of innovation outcomes in PPPs.”

Data Collaboratives as a New Frontier of Cross-Sector Partnerships in the Age of Open Data: Taxonomy Development,” Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2017, Iryna Susha, Marijn Janssen, and Stefaan Verhulst

Abstract: “Data collaboratives present a new form of cross-sector and public-private partnership to leverage (often corporate) data for addressing a societal challenge. They can be seen as the latest attempt to make data accessible to solve public problems. Although an increasing number of initiatives can be found, there is hardly any analysis of these emerging practices. This paper seeks to develop a taxonomy of forms of data collaboratives. The taxonomy consists of six dimensions related to data sharing and eight dimensions related to data use. Our analysis shows that data collaboratives exist in a variety of models. The taxonomy can help organizations to find a suitable form when shaping their efforts to create public value from corporate and other data. The use of data is not only dependent on the organizational arrangement, but also on aspects like the type of policy problem, incentives for use, and the expected outcome of data collaborative.”

A Proactive Approach to the Utilization of Academic Research: The Case of Uppsala University’s AIMday,” Science and Public Policy, Enrico Baraldi, Marcus Lindahl, and Kristofer Severinsson

Abstract: “While most research on university–industry interactions focuses on established collaborations, this paper focuses on those interactions that occur before the emergence of a concrete relationship. Uppsala University, Sweden, applies this ‘proactive’ approach, based on creating university–industry cooperation platforms before, or irrespectively of, the creation of commercializable knowledge. This study aims to analyze the structure, processes and effects of proactive approaches to utilize academic research commercially. It focuses on a conference, Academy Industry Meeting day (AIMday) and addresses three main questions: first, how does this mechanism work? Second, why do different actors, such as researchers, small and large companies, participate? Third, what values and concrete effects do they obtain from it? Our case study reflects the perspectives of industry, academia, and the administrative units organizing the event. We find that some reasons to participate and values are important to all participants, but that there are also considerable differences.”

The New Face of University–Business Cooperation in Finland,” Science and Public Policy, Marina Ranga, Juha Perälampi, and Juha Kansikas

Abstract: “This paper analyses the development of university–business cooperation (UBC) in Finland in the context of the University Reform Act of 2009, drawing on the experience of four universities: Aalto University, University of Jyväskylä, University of Turku, and Lappeenranta University of Technology. Six UBC dimensions are examined: institutional context, stakeholders, motivations, facilitators/inhibitors, benefits, and drawbacks. We find that UBC, while a relatively recent process, is growing fast in dynamic local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. The University Act of 2009 had an uneven effect on the six UBC dimensions, with the most visible impact being manifested on motivations. Aalto University’s leading position in UBC and strong capacity to raise public and private funding has a dual effect: while being a major achievement, it also tends to polarize the Finnish universities financially, through a Matthew effect that may slow down UBC development in other universities.”

Public-Private Partnerships in Early Childhood Development: The Role of Publicly Funded Private Provision,” Brookings Institution, Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Katie Smith, and Sophie Gardner

Abstract: “This study seeks to provide clarity on the different forms and classification of PPPs and concentrates on a subset of PPP models that are publicly-financed and privately-delivered early childhood development (ECD) services. Namely, this subset is inclusive of vouchers and voucher-like programs, education service delivery initiatives, and the private management of public institutions. Specifically, the study explores the application of PPPs for pre-primary education and parent education about early stimulation in particular, analyzing the potential to address capacity constraints as well as the potential challenges in their use. This is a research area that deserves greater attention given the limited robust analysis to date.”

Transforming the Public Sector Into an Arena for Co-Creation: Barriers, Drivers, Benefits, and Ways Forward,” Administration & Society, Jacob Torfing, Eva Sørensen, and Asbjørn Røiseland

Abstract: “This article explores whether co-creation offers a viable path for the public sector. After an initial account of the transformation of the public sector from a legal authority and a service provider to an arena of co-creation, it defines co-creation and provides some empirical examples. This is followed by a discussion of the risks and benefits of co-creation as well as the drivers and barriers that may stimulate or hamper its expansion. The article also reflects on how institutional design, public leadership, and systemic change can advance co-creation. The conclusion summarizes the findings by setting out some researchable propositions.”