Developing business school/SME collaboration: the role of trust

DARABI, Fariba (2013). Developing business school/SME collaboration: the role of trust. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The purpose of this thesis is to advance the understanding of how University Business Schools initiate, develop and manage their inter-organisational relations with SMEs and what, if any, are the mutual advantages from these collaborative relationships. The findings aim to inform the best practice of how collaboration between these sectors can be encouraged and enhanced. This study explores the collaborative relationships between a University Business School and SMEs in the South Yorkshire and Humber region of the UK. A qualitative approach was used to gather empirical data through in-depth semi-structured interviews with Managers and academics at the Business School, and Managing Directors, Operational, Marketing and Sales Managers at the SMEs. A purposive sampling data technique and general analytical induction approach were used for data collection and analysis respectively. The analysis of the data produced three main themes: Relationship Management, Collaborative Opportunities and Challenges, and The Role of Trust. The main outputs from the present research are two practice-based models of 1) initiating collaboration and 2) initiating and building trust in the UBS/SME context. The models include elements which can help Executive Managers at Business Schools and practitioners at SMEs to define their strategy in developing collaboration. Overall, the research reveals the importance of SMEs’ engagement in the early stages of the relationship, in developing a programme to obtain a better understanding of their expectations and of how the promises need to be delivered in developing collaboration between SMEs and University Business Schools. The collaboration between universities and industry has been encouraged because of the mutual advantages of collaboration, and trust is seen as a primary factor in such collaboration.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 17:08
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 14:01

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