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Silvio Bitencourt da Silva; Cledinei Clóvis de Melo Cavalheiro

Organizational designs facilitating and constraining open and collaborative research approaches in university-industry partnerships: lessons from a case study at UNISINOS

This article investigates and discusses the openness and collaboration in science from a case study at UNISINOS, a Jesuit university of education, research and innovation in Southern Brazil. In a global world, Jesuit institutions seem to become smaller in relative terms, emphasizing the importance of working within networks and collaboration as the way of proceeding of the Society of Jesus, encouraging us to “Work with others. Work together”. The topic of this debate is particularly relevant and current in Jesuit Business Schools (JBSs) faced with the challenge to better prepare our students to lead in the creation of a more sustainable, inclusive, just and reconciled world. In this sense, new ways of producing knowledge and creating value studied in complementary concepts of Open Science (OS) and Open Innovation (OI) from the unifying concept of Open Innovation in Science (OIS) may help JBSs better prepare our students to lead in the creation of a more sustainable, inclusive, just and reconciled world. The concept of OISs encompasses knowledge flows and collaborations between different scientific disciplines (interdisciplinary) and between science and society (transdisciplinary) along the entire process of scientific research and its implementation. Adopting the OIS Research Framework, we investigated its elements, moving from OIS practices and antecedents and boundary conditions to OIS-based outcomes and impacts. To do this, we developed and applied a maturity model based on the OIS Research Framework for measuring the ability for continuous improvement in the OIS discipline. A fixed number of maturity levels was specified first and further corroborated with specific assessment items that support the initial assumptions about how OIS maturity is perceived at UNISINOS Business School (UBS) a member of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) which is positioned in the select group of Business Schools internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The findings suggest the OIS maturity at UBS encompasses the three main elements of the OIS Research Framework with recurring interrelations. First, OIS practices occur in some of the stages of the scientific research process, from the formulation of research questions and the obtaining of funding and the development of methods to data collection, data processing, and data analyses, as well as the dissemination of results through writing, translation into innovation or other forms of coding scientific insight. Second, the OIS practices is influenced by contingencies and boundary conditions on multiple levels, more at the individual and research group level, less at organisation, discipline or field, and society or policy levels, as well as the outcomes and impacts generated. Third, OIS-based outcomes ensue along most scientific research process, generating scientific and societal impacts. In this case study, the systematization of OIS practices and the exploration of other boundary conditions could improve the productivity and societal impact of scientific research by specifying the path that OIS can follow in moving to a highly mature process. The maturity model based on the OIS Research Framework developed in this study can serve as a reference for other JBSs.