Attitude to Collaboration With Industry: A Latent Class Typology of Academic Scientists in India
There is a dearth of empirical studies on identifying barriers to initiating collaboration between the academia and the corporate world. This paper attempts to map the attitude of academic scientists towards cooperation with industry in the context of status of the academic scientist, field of specialization, and the type of institution where employed. The data were collected through a sample survey in which about 1100 scientists in twenty universities in India had participated. The population of a university was classified into four categories - periphery, center, semicentre, and semiperiphery. Attitude to collaboration was tapped through six items - mission incompatibility, lack of challenge, constraint on academic freedom, lack of response, cultural incompatibility, and ethical incompatibility and measured on a 5-point Likert scale (1-strongly disagree to 5-strongly agree). Latent class analysis was used as a methodology of typological analysis for classifying the respondents into clusters based on similarities of their attitude to collaboration with industry. The distribution of contextual variables in the derived clusters was subsequently probed. The structure of multivariate relationships between the classification categories and the categories of the contextual variables was analyzed through multiple correspondence analysis to provide a synoptic view of the global structure of the data. The fine-grained structure of the relationships of typology categories and the categories of contextual variables was analyzed through a series of simple correspondence analysis. About 33 per cent of respondents constituted a group characterized by a positive orientation towards collaboration with industry and they came from applied science area. Only 13 per cent constituted a group characterized by the ivory tower attitude towards collaboration with industry while a large number of respondents (53 per cent) formed a group which appeared to be neutral to the collaboration with industry. The results have implications for the management of collaborative projects among the universities and industries.
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