Knowledge Transfer from Latvian Universities to Businesses

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Sanita Sampane
With an acknowledgement of the importance of knowledge-based economy and its promotion, countries have started to look for new tools and mechanisms to enhance creation of knowledge and to facilitate cooperation between universities, which have always been viewed as knowledge creation institutions, and other sectors e.g. businesses, policy makers and society in general. One of the tools that hold an enormous potential to contribute to reaching the knowledge-based economy goals is knowledge transfer. It can work between and among several knowledge producers and receivers e.g. between universities and policy makers, between universities and society, among different companies or even among several departments within one company. Nevertheless, the focus of this thesis is knowledge transfer between universities and businesses in a particular country – Latvia.
The thesis starts with an introduction where the author argues about the importance of knowledge transfer between universities and businesses within the current world. Further on, in order to set the ground rules for further analysis the methodology part explains and justifies the choice of the country, approaches and research techniques as well as sources of information used within the work. Additionally, the methodology part is where the research question for the work is formulated:
What is the established knowledge transfer process from HEIs to businesses and its broader environment in Latvia and how it can be improved in the future?
Before moving on to analysis theoretical perspectives on the main attributes of the analyzed process e.g. knowledge, innovation and knowledge transfer are defined and their characteristics determined. This then is followed by an overview of current knowledge transfer literature based on which a theoretical model for further analysis is built; this is done by using Knowledge Transformation Framework, 5 Questions Knowledge Transfer Framework and 4 Stages Knowledge Transfer Framework. The developed framework is used for defining interview questions.
Within this thesis work knowledge transfer is defined as an opened system which means that emphasis of the analysis is not only put on the actual knowledge transfer process but also on the environment surrounding it – an overall economy in Latvia and its national system of innovation. Therefore chapter 5 of the thesis includes detailed description of current state of Latvian economy, and it elaborates on institutional and legal framework for innovation and knowledge transfer as well as innovation environment in Latvia. Based on this analysis problems that might directly or indirectly affect knowledge transfer are identified.
Another important aspect that influences knowledge transfer process is the background of the actors involved in the process – universities and businesses. Hence, chapter 6 explores science and research sector as well as business sector in Latvia in more detail. The main focus is put on the current affairs in these sectors, strategic trends, problems and challenges that might influence actors’ participation in knowledge transfer.
Furthermore, in chapter 7, based on the information obtained during the interviews, an attempt to design the established knowledge transfer process in Latvia is made. Moreover, the chapter discusses the role of the knowledge transfer centres established within the largest universities in Latvia, explains the phases involved in the knowledge transfer process and elaborates on main challenges and facilitators with respect to knowledge transfer in Latvia.
Last but not least, the conclusion summarizes the work done and conclusions drawn throughout the project. Additionally, it elaborates on possible limitations of this thesis as well as points out several directions for research in the field of knowledge transfer.
Publication date5 Aug 2010
Number of pages117
Publishing institutionMIKE
ID: 35228151