University of Southampton: University Technology Transfer Research - a request for participants
I am a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Management at the University of Southampton investigating the relationship process between two main parties - technology transfer officers (TTO officers) and academics/researchers - in the development of university spin-outs. The objective is to identify the role each party plays in the commercialization process, to understand what makes the relationships successful particularly with regard to trust building, and to determine how they work together through the spin-out process. The investigation is qualitative and interpretive in its approach and uses the notion of ‘sensemaking’ as its theoretical framework.
I am writing to you to ask for an opportunity to make contact with possible interviewees for my study. My target interviewees are TTO officers and academics/researchers who are currently working together (or have worked together within the last 2 years) on a university spin-out (either currently under development, successful or failed). I would like to include as many cases as possible. Each case is to be examined by interviewing one TTO officer and one academic/researcher as a pair and each interview is scheduled to last no more than 1 hour. Where possible I would also like to have the opportunity to interview the TTO director to understand more about the strategic approach and policies adopted by the institution.
I would like to schedule the interviews to take place across the Autumn term from September – January. If you would be interested in engaging in this research I will assure anonymity for all the participants and their institutions and would also be very happy to share the results and my findings upon this basis. I will follow up this letter by telephone or email and arrange a convenient time to meet with you to discuss potential participants for the study. I am very happy to schedule all interviews at your convenience, and each interview would use a semi-structure research instrument which would be digitally recorded and used only for the purposes of research. As stated, the contents would remain anonymous and confidential. Please understand that there is no value judgement here about the quality of TTO officers or academics/researchers. What I am looking to do is simply to document the relationship and to see how the two parties make sense of or build trust in university technology transfer cases.
I have a great passion for this research on spin-out activity. Your help would be much appreciated and of real benefit to the study of university technology transfer. I sincerely hope this will contribute to the future development of university technology transfer.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Many thanks.
Dorrie Yi-Wen Chao
Supervised by Professor Dean Patton & Professor Louis Rinfret School of Management University of Southampton