Best Practices for Corporate Communication Research Collaboration between University Research Groups and Industry Businesses and Organizations: A Structure and Function Analysis

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify the best practices for corporate communication research collaboration between a university research group (URG) and outside businesses or organizations that systematically foster academic-industry idea exchange. Despite the challenges for sustainable partnership building, successful URG-industry collaboration models can be mutually beneficial. URGs’ research benefits organizations and contributes to industry-wide problem solving; organization support (e.g., research funding, professional networks, etc.) enhances the URGs’ ability to conduct research. Two theoretical frameworks are used to analyze and guide the research: transaction cost economy theory (e.g., Argyers & Zenger, 2012; Gancarczyk, 2017) and social network analysis theory (e.g., Freeman, 2004; Sommerfeldt & Kent, 2015). Interviews conducted with global URGs and partnering organization practitioners provide practical implications that help enhance URG/organizational relationship understanding and further engage industry-academic research collaborations.