In Search of an Effective Governance Model of Academic Research Commercialisation

Author: Anil K Narayan, AUT University

Abstract: In recent times, knowledge transfer and research commercialisation have become important governance issues for many universities across the globe. Prior research had its major focus on modelling governance structures based on the traditional academic role of the university. Studies on governance within a contemporary context of research commercialisation are scarce. The objective of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of how governance structures enhance research commercialisation initiatives. Using case study research, this paper examines governance arrangements within three tertiary institutions in New Zealand. The study draws upon new public management and neo-institutional theoretical perspectives to help interpret the findings. The study demonstrated that the corporate governance model of commercialisation comprised of professionals who had the capacity, willingness and ability to govern was most effective. The paper provides useful guidance to support tertiary institutions in designing frameworks for responsive and accountable governance of their research commercialisation activities.