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National Strategy for Higher Education – Is Effective Enterprise Engagement Occurring at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire?

National Strategy for Higher Education – Is Effective Enterprise Engagement Occurring at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire?

Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are under pressure to transform their activities, structures and management systems in response to an increasing range of contemporary challenges. Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the dominant business form in Ireland and are key engines of growth in modern economies, research shows them to be a significant source of applied innovation and job creation. However Ireland remains an ‘Innovation Follower’ in European league tables partially because insufficient numbers of Irish SMEs engage in innovation and the professional training and development necessary for its exploitation. The Irish government sees the innovative, export led growth of indigenous SMEs as essential to building the recovery of the national finances and employment.

The primary research comprised twelve in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants and decision makers drawn from IADT’s enterprise ecosystem over a period of three months in the summer of 2011. The primary research was supplement by two unstructured interviews with education policy experts and relevant secondary research. The research is limited to one academic institution, a focus on one industry sector with respondents drawn from a limited geographical area. In order to ensure the validity of XII conclusions the findings are triangulated throughout with evidence from the literature and informed sources.

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March 03, 2021
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  1. I National Strategy for Higher Education – Is Effective Enterprise

    Engagement Occurring at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire? Eoin Killian Costello Student Number: B00570977 2011 Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Business Development and Innovation Supervisor: Professor Audrey Gilmore Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy Ulster Business School University of Ulster
  2. II Table of Contents Table of contents…………………………………………………………........ II List of

    Tables…………………………………………………………............ VI List of Figures…………………………………………………………........... VII Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………. VIII Abbreviations…………………………………………………………........... IX Declaration of Access to Contents..………………………………………… X Abstract…………………………………………………………..................... XI Chapter Page 1.0 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………. 1 1.1 Introduction……………………………………………………….................. 1 1.2 The Changing Role of Institutes of Higher Education in Ireland…………….. 5 1.3 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – the Innovation Interface with HEIs…. 6 1.4 Rationale for the Research …………………………………………............ 7 1.5 Aims and Objectives of the Research……………………………………… 7 8 1.7 Research Outcomes Outline…………………………………………………. 9 1.8 Conclusion………………………………………………………….............. 10 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW ……………………………………………………........... 11 2.1 Introduction………………………………………………………….............. 11 2.2 Review of Foundation Literature ……………………………………........ 12 2.2.1 The Irish Higher Education Sector………………………………………..................... 12 2.2.2 The Changing Role of the Sector……………………………………………............... 13 2.2.3 Small & Medium Sized Enterprises............................................................................... 16 2.3 Review of Core Literature…………………………………………………… 18 2.3.1 What constitutes effective engagement at the innovation interface between HEIs and Enterprise?......................................................................................................... 18 1.6 The Structure of the Research…………………………………………….....
  3. III 2.3.2 Defining what is meant by Effective Enterprise Engagement………………………..

    21 2.3.3 Obstacles to effective enterprise engagement............................................................... 24 2.4 Identification of Need for Empirical Research….…………………………… 28 2.5 Identification of the Objectives of this Study..……………………………... 29 2.6 Conclusion……………………………….... ………………………….......... 30 3.0 METHODLOGY…………………………………………………………................. 32 3.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………............ 32 3.2 What is Research?............................................................................................ 3.3 The Research Strategy - Justification for the Research Philosophy, Approach and Method……................................................................................................ 33 3.3.1 Research Approach – Deduction and Induction………………………………………. 35 3.3.2 Research Methods……………………………………………………………………… 36 3.3.3 Research Strategies…………………………………………………………………….. 36 3.3.4 Tine Horizon……………………………………………………………………………. 37 3.4 Research Procedures Employed in this Study……………………….……...... 37 3.4.1 Data Collection Techniques……………………………………………………………. 38 3.4.2 Selection of Case Study Organisation……………………………………..…………… 39 3.4.3 Selecting the Sample Populations at the Case Study Institute for Interview…………………………………………………………………….. ……………… 40 3.4.4 Selecting Interview Respondents for this Study............................................................. 43 3.4.5 Research Technique – Interview Strategy Adopted for the Research…………………… 45 3.4.6 Secondary Research Methods Employed in this Study………………………………… 46 3.5 Research Analysis…..…………………………………………………........... 47 3.5.1 Coding of Interview Transcripts……………………………………..………………. 47 3.6 Limitations …………………............................................................................ 49 3.6.1 Validity and Reliability of the Research…………………….……………………. 50 3.7 Conclusion………..……………………………………………………......... 52 4.0 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS.………………………………….………………........ 53 4.1 Introduction………..……………………………………………………........ 53
  4. IV 4.2 Analysis Explained…………………………………………………………. 53 4.3 Profile of the Respondents……………..………………………………........

    54 4.4 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question 1……………………. 55 4.4.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 1……………… 56 4.4.2 Content Analysis………………………………………………………………. 56 4.4.2.1 Networking………………………………………………………………………. 57 4.4.2.2 Growth Resources……………………………………………………………… 59 4.4.2.3 Professional Collaborative Services………………………………………….. 60 4.4.3 Analysis and Conclusion…………………………………………………………. 62 4.5 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question 2…………………… 65 4.5.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 2….………….. 65 4.5.2 Content Analysis……………………………………………………………… 65 4.5.1.1 Misalignment…………………………………………………………………… 66 4.5.1.2 Culture Gap……………………………………………………………………… 68 4.5.1.3 Disconnect………………………………………………………………………. 70 4.5.1.4 Collaborative Commercial Research…………………………………………… 72 4.5.1.5 Competition or Restriction by Competitor ……………………………………. . 75 4.5.2 Analysis and Conclusion 75 4.6 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question 3………………….. 78 4.6.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 3…………….. 78 4.6.2 Content Analysis……………………………………………………………. 79 4.6.2.1 Individual initiative…………………………………………………………….. 79 4.6.2.2 System…………………………………………………………………………. 80 4.6.2.3 Structure……………………………………………………………………….. 82 4.6.3 Analysis and Conclusion……………………………………………………… 83 4.7 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question 4……..……………. 86 4.7.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 4……………… 86 4.7.2 Content Analysis………………………………………………………………. 87 4.7.2.1 Positively Disposed…………………………………………………………… 87 4.7.2.2 Enabling Requirements………………………………………………………. 88 4.7.2.3 Benefits Sought………………………………………………………………. 90 4.7.3 Analysis and Conclusion…………………………………………………….. 91 4.8 Summary of Findings and Conclusion…………………………………….. 94
  5. V 4.0 CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………. 98 5.1 Introduction…………………………………….....………………………….. 98 5.1.1 Outline solution

    to research problem, aim & objectives……………………….. 98 5.2 Conclusion 1 and Recommendations………………………………………… 99 5.2.1 Recommendations……………………………………………………………… 100 5.3 Conclusion 2 and Recommendations………………………………………… 101 5.3.1 Recommendations……………………………………………………………… 101 5.4 Conclusion 3 and Recommendations………………………………………… 102 5.4.1 Recommendations…………………………………………………………….. 103 5.5 Conclusion 4 and Recommendations…………………………………………. 104 5.5.1 Recommendations……………………………………………………………… 104 5.6 Implications for Theory/Policy/Practice……………………………………… 105 5.7 Limitations and Future Study…………………………………………………. 106 5.8 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….. 107 APPENDICES ……….…………………………………………………………............... 108 References…………………………………………………………........................ 108 Appendix 1 Definition of Terms…………………………………………………. 118 Appendix 1 Interview Questions……………………….……………………........ 120 Appendix 2 Interview invitation issued to respondents………………………….. 121 Appendix 3 Sample coded interview transcript………………………………….. 123 Appendix 4 Letter of introduction from President of IADT…………………….. 126 Appendix 5 Identifying sample intrinsically motivating enterprise engagements for testing…………………………………………………………………………. 127 Appendix 6 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for Key Issue 1… 131 Appendix 7 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for Key Issue 2… 135 Appendix 8 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for Key Issue 3.. 138 Appendix 9 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for Key Issue 4.. 140 Appendix 10 The Strategic Approach to the Choices facing IADT…………....... 142 Appendix 11 Analysis of Income for IADT in 2010……………………………. 146
  6. VI List of Tables Table Page 1. Profile of interview

    respondents ……………………………………………………….. 43 2. Current activity levels for Innovation Voucher activity at IADT..................................... 61 3. Analysis of Innovation Vouchers processed by Knowledge Providers in Ireland………. 74 4. Sample Activities for enterprise in the IADT literature..................................................... 126 5. Research Question 1 coding analysis framework............................................................. 130 6. Research Question 1 content analysis............................................................................... 132 7. Research Question 2 coding analysis framework............................................................. 134 8. Research Question 2 content analysis............................................................................... 136 9. Research Question 3 coding analysis framework............................................................. 137 10. Research Question 3 content analysis............................................................................... 138 11. Research Question 4 coding analysis framework............................................................. 139 12. Research Question 4 content analysis............................................................................... 140
  7. VII List of Figures Figure Page 1. The Expansion of

    the University Mission....................................................... 14 2. The revenue portfolio for UK universities..................................................... 15 3. The emerging new economics of Higher Education 19 4. Components of the Innovation & Knowledge Ecosystem Model……… 42 5. The process whereby IADT may achieve successful alignment of its Specialist Industry Expertise specialisations................................................... 142
  8. VIII Acknowledgements There are many people to whom I owe

    thanks for supporting me in a personal and professional capacity during the completion of this dissertation:- My supervisor Professor Audrey Gilmore for her helpful comments and advice. My course director Dr. Adele Dunn who posed the challenge which ultimately provided me with the subject for this dissertation. Gerard McFall at University of Ulster was a constant help with literature. The President at IADT, Dr. Annie Doona, for allowing me the opportunity to use the subject of my dissertation to be of service to IADT. I am also very grateful to the President’s office assistants, Elizabeth Stunnell and Elaine Dominguez. I am also grateful to Marian O’Sullivan, Muiris O’Connor, Richard Thorn, Jim Devine and Claire McBride for their help and advice. The interview participants were extremely generous with their time and suggestions. My partner Ania was a great help to me with the structure of my dissertation, I am deeply grateful to her.
  9. IX Abbreviations • HETAC Higher Education and Training Awards Council

    • HEIs Higher Education Institutions • HEA Higher Education Authority • IADT Staff Member of Academic/Management staff sample population • IADT Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire • IC Incubation Centre – called the Media Cube at IADT • Incubator Incubation Centre enterprise owners sample population • IoTs Institutes of Technology • IP Intellectual Property • K&EI Model Knowledge and Innovation Ecosystem Model • KPIs Key Performance Indicators • NFQ National Framework of Qualifications • SMEs Small and Medium Enterprises
  10. X Declaration on Access to Contents DECLARATION ------------------------- I hereby

    declare that, with effect from the date on which this dissertation is deposited in the library or other department / school / faculty of the University of Ulster, I permit the dissertation to be copied in whole or in parts without reference to myself, in the understanding that such authority applies to single copies made for studying purposes and which are not published. An additional condition is that acknowledgement is credited to the actual source. This restriction does not apply to the copying or publication of the title, abstract or introduction to this dissertation. It is a condition that anyone who consults this dissertation must recognize that the copyright rests with the author and no quotation from the dissertation or information derived from it may be published unless the source is properly acknowledged. Signed ............................................................................. Date ................................................................................
  11. XI Abstract Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are under pressure

    to transform their activities, structures and management systems in response to an increasing range of contemporary challenges. Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the dominant business form in Ireland and are key engines of growth in modern economies, research shows them to be a significant source of applied innovation and job creation. However Ireland remains an ‘Innovation Follower’ in European league tables partially because insufficient numbers of Irish SMEs engage in innovation and the professional training and development necessary for its exploitation. The Irish government sees the innovative, export led growth of indigenous SMEs as essential to building the recovery of the national finances and employment. The recently published National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (commonly known as the Hunt Report) states that HEIs have a key role to play as innovation enablers for indigenous SMEs. It requires that HEIs reduce their dependence on the exchequer by prioritising the mission of engaging with the innovation needs of Ireland’s SMEs in a manner that creates diversified revenue streams for HEIs. However the Hunt Report has been criticised for a lack of empirical guidance on the quantum of such engagement or how it should be effected operationally. In order to address this gap an exploratory case study is conducted at IADT. IADT is in an ideal position to respond flexibly to the Hunt enterprise engagement objective due to it being one of Ireland’s newest, smallest Institutes of Technology (IoT) with a recently appointed President from outside the Irish IoT sector, the nature of the disciplines it teaches in the key growth area of digital media and the institute’s stated pioneering culture. In order to provide the research instrument for the study ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as genuine collaborative activities occurring within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. The primary research comprised twelve in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants and decision makers drawn from IADT’s enterprise ecosystem over a period of three months in the summer of 2011. The primary research was supplement by two unstructured interviews with education policy experts and relevant secondary research. The research is limited to one academic institution, a focus on one industry sector with respondents drawn from a limited geographical area. In order to ensure the validity of
  12. XII conclusions the findings are triangulated throughout with evidence from

    the literature and informed sources. The research finds that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not currently occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs. A recurring theme throughout the data is that the most significant obstacle to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is the internal culture at IADT. From the data enterprise engagement appears to be a relatively low priority internally at IADT despite public announcements to the contrary. Despite a number of cases of individual initiative the data suggests that IADT is predominantly reactive in respect of enterprise engagement. This results in valuable resources (such as the large population of IADT alumni in key positions in digital media enterprises, the enterprises located in the on-campus incubation centre and the state funded Virtual Lab facility) being neglected as a source of revenue and growth for IADT, its staff and students. This is occurring in spite of the fact that very little progress has been made to date on the institute’s declared target of raising twenty percent of IADT revenue from non-exchequer sources by 2013. The findings of this study suggest serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to generate non-exchequer revenue streams in the absence of deep rooted internal culture change. In this context effective enterprise engagement may be deemed to be a key priority for the new President and management of IADT. The study identifies that many assets and supports are available to the management team in commencing this process. In terms of future research it is suggested that this exploratory research may aid in providing a conceptual framework working hypothesis for further research in respect of the Hunt enterprise engagement objectives.
  13. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction Chapter 1 of this

    research study commences with an examination of the changing role of HEIs, particularly in respect of becoming innovation enablers for Small and Medium sized Enterprises. The pressures and challenges shaping structural change in the HEI sector towards an enterprise orientation (with a particular focus on the Hunt Report (Hunt 2011)) are examined with a view to framing the research question. Critics of the Hunt Report state that is not clear on the means which be pursued in achieving the multi-faceted objectives it contains particularly those in respect of the engagement objectives. This provides the rationale for this research study. The aims and objectives of the research are then addressed. The structure of the research is outlined, namely an exploratory case study at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire. Primary data is collected during the summer of 2011 via twelve semi-structured interviews with opinion leaders, decision makers and key informants drawn from the enterprise ecosystem of IADT. The primary research was supplement by two unstructured interviews with education policy experts and relevant secondary research. The research outcomes are then presented in summary form. The objective of Chapter 2 is to serve as a foundation for this dissertation. In order to support the aim of this study the method of Gibbs (2008) is adopted by using the literature review to examine themes, trends and previous research in order to provide a framework and structure for an analysis of the data collected to answer the research question. The review of foundation literature establishes that HEIs are undergoing a period of change due to policy, technical, competitive and economic challenges. On the other side of the innovation interface SMEs are the most common form of business unit in the European Union but, due to resources issues, suffer from an inability to engage in innovation. National policy identifies that HEIs are well positioned to address this failure and seeks to require that HEIs do so. The conclusion of the review of core literature examines the aspiration of the National Strategy for Higher Education in respect of enterprise engagement. However such engagement must be purposive and Hunt’s desired purpose is that enterprise engagement creates diversified funding course for HEIs while meeting the innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs. Such effective behaviour has the potential to create ‘symbiotic engagements’. However critics of the Hunt Report state it lacks
  14. 2 specific indicators of how any of its recommendations might

    be implemented nor is it clear on the means to be pursued in achieving the multi-faceted objectives it contains particularly in respect of enterprise engagement. This provides the research question for this study. By seeking to measure ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT this study attempts to provide a conceptual working hypothesis (Shields and Tajalli 2006) for future work in respect of operationalising Hunt’s enterprise engagement objective. Using the synthesis developed in the literature review the research instruments for the progressive test of ‘‘effective enterprise engagement’’ are: 1. Does an ‘effective network’ exist: This is characterised by regular and intense interaction as opposed to one off transactional engagements. The goal of this test is to establish if the relationship is embedded within the enterprise activities of the participants. 2. Is ‘actual collaboration’ taking place within the ‘effective network’? This is characterised by equal intensity of engagement across all categories of engagement. The goal of this test is to establish whether any embeddedness identified is broad enough to constitute genuine engagement. 3. Is ‘symbiotic engagement’ evident in the ‘actual collaborations’? The goal of this test is to establish whether collaborative innovation, training and professional development is occurring in a manner that creates equal revenue and benefits to all parties. The purpose of this test is to identify conditions for increases of transivity and homophilly creating the conditions for growing the ‘effective network’. This in turn provides the potential for a virtuous circle developing, the greater the ‘effective network’ the greater the opportunities for creating ‘actual collaboration’. Therefore for the purposes of this study ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as genuinely collaborative activities within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. Chapter 2 identifies obstacles to such ‘effective enterprise engagement’ which include ‘Culture Gap’, ‘Misalignment’ and ‘Disconnect’. Instruments for mitigating the effect of obstacles in biological and business ecosystems are systems and structures which facilitate the key processes. The Hunt report makes a similar statement that outward-facing systems and structures should be embedded into institutional activity to underpin engagement.
  15. 3 In conclusion of the summary of Chapter 2 the

    research question is justified on the basis of the literature and a series of instruments are identified to help operationalise the aims and objectives of this research. Chapter 3 describes and justifies the research methodology used in the study.This study adopts the interpretivist philosophy on the basis that the research question seeks to gain an understanding of certain dynamic human processes at the case study institution through capturing feelings and personal opinions of people in respect of the subject being examined. The research approach employed in this research is inductive due to the fact that the concepts or variables to be measured in the research are not currently sufficiently defined to be expressed in a testable hypothesis and measured quantitatively. Following from the choice of the inductive research approach this study seeks to collect qualitative data in order to seek to answer the research question. Qualitative data is appropriate to this research study because exploratory research often relies on qualitative approaches such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies in addition to secondary research. Finally the case study research strategy is chosen due to the nature of the research question and the fact that exploratory studies are generally better served by single cases. In respect of the research procedure the primary technique of semi-structured interviews are justified in order to “find out what is happening and to seek new insights” Robson (2002 p59). The selection of case study organisation, sample populations and sample participants from the IADT enterprise ecosystem are justified. The secondary methods are briefly outlined and justified. Chapter 4 presents the findings and analysis of this study. The key findings are presented under each of the objectives and subsequently linked to the relevant literature in order to triangulate the findings and contrast results. The overall finding of this research is that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents).
  16. 4 This finding has serious adverse consequences for the ability

    of IADT to generate non- exchequer revenue streams and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The finding is corroborated by the fact that in the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013. The purpose of Chapter 5 is to present a further discussion of the findings presented in Chapter 4 and to provide a set of recommendations to IADT and relevant policy making bodies based on the findings of this study. Implications for the practice of enterprise engagement and for future research in this domain are presented. Lastly a brief conclusion of the study is presented. The next section will commence the overview of the justification and rationale for the research question.
  17. 5 1.2 The Changing Role of Higher Education Institutes in

    Ireland The key purpose of economic development is to support individual wellbeing, to promote equity in society and to enable national government to deliver on the aspirations of its citizens. As disseminators and creators of knowledge Ireland’s higher education institutions (HEIs) play a key role in the economic development of the country. Ireland’s economy is highly dependent on its ability to convert knowledge and expertise into products, processes and services for export. The value of Irish exports reached €161 billion in 2010, the highest annual figure ever recorded (Irish Exporters Association 2011) and constituted approximately eighty per cent of gross domestic product (being the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given period). In recognition of the key role HEIs play in the modern, knowledge-based economy a number of recent government stimulus programmes have focused on leveraging the HEI sector as provisioning agents (the Springboard Programme for example). Irish tax-payers provide the bulk of the funding to the higher education sector in Ireland via state funding. As a result of current economic difficulties state funding bodies are seeking increased accountability and alignment of IoT strategies with national priorities and objectives (Government Publications Office 2007). Marginson (2008) finds that many HEIs internationally are trending towards more corporate-style forms of organisation. The characteristics of this trend are increased executive steering at institutional level, greater administrative and policy autonomy and higher levels of income raising at institutional level. This is coupled with systems which are based on information and communications which ensure greater transparency, performance measurement and the accountability of HEIs to national agencies. However in Ireland existing models of HEI organisation in respect of research outputs and enterprise engagement are not suitable to the task national government wishes the sector to fulfil. In terms of addressing this putative disconnect, between national policy objectives and the HEI sector, the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 was published in January 2011. This report was commissioned by the Irish Government and seeks to create the framework and conditions for a re-structuring of Irish higher education. The expert group report was chaired by economist Dr Colin Hunt and as a result the National Strategy is commonly referred to as the Hunt Report.
  18. 6 The objective of the restructuring proposed in the Hunt

    Report is to cater for the broad social and cultural requirements of Ireland in the next twenty years. The scale of the report’s ambitions for the breadth and quality of Irish higher education over the coming decades demands more coherence, symbiosis and considerable improvements in the operational efficiency throughout the organisation and financing of Ireland’s HEI system. One of the key finding of the report is that the Irish HEI sector requires a dramatic increase in funding to enable it to deal with predicted record levels of student demand and to enable it to play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of Ireland. The report proposes that the source of this funding be new student contribution fees and the creation of revenue streams from the provision of collaborative innovation, training and professional development services to enterprise, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The report formulates a number of processes that it wishes to see underpin HEIs’ new ways of working particularly in respect of engagement with SMEs across the ‘innovation interface’ (Lanciano-Morandat et al 2006). 1.3 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – the Innovation Interface with HEIs SMEs are the dominant form of business organisation in Ireland and the European Union. However they exhibit low productivity and little design, process or organisational innovation or use of Information & Communication Technologies (EU Cordis 2003). Ireland’s Report of the Innovation Taskforce (2010) states that the education system is pivotal in making innovation happen and should be a key facilitator and enabler of SME innovation. While HEIs have many functions, missions and commitments in the current recessionary environment many expect them to play a key role in helping return the national economy to a growth orientation. There are ample models in HEI sectors internationally for the systems and structures which underpin effective engagement across this interface. According to The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (2006) symbiotic enterprise engagement is common in the HEIs in the United States. Industry linkages in the US colleges in terms of course design/delivery, structured guest lecturer programmes, software company “testing” relationships with colleges and their students, and extensive joint industry research programmes are well developed. The structured fostering of informal industry linkages in the US takes place through standing mechanisms such as Programme Boards and President’s Panels.
  19. 7 1.4 Rationale for the Research The emergence of the

    impetus to become enterprising HEIs and increase engagement with enterprise is relatively new in Ireland (as is the requirement to earn revenue from such engagement). Nevertheless a reforming Irish Minister for Education expects HEIs to achieve transformation on the broad criteria identified in the Hunt Report in a short time scale. However the Hunt Report has been the subject of a number of criticisms since its publication. Begley (2011) states, inter alia, that the report lacks strategic thinking and is not clear on the exact means which are to be pursued in achieving the engagement objectives. This criticism is echoed by The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT 2011, p.1) who express the view that the report is “singularly lacking any specific indicators of how any of its recommendations might be implemented". Therefore while internationally many HEIs are undergoing transformation towards the enterprise model of operation, there is no guidance for the operational implementation of the Hunt Report enterprise engagement objectives contained in the report. Based on a review of the current Irish literature there appears to be an absence of research addressing this question. In light of the current policy and economic environment the researcher believes that the research question which underpins this study is opportune. 1.5 Aims and Objectives of the Research In order to address the gap identified in current literature an exploratory case study at a sample IoT is proposed. Therefore the aim of this research is to use an exploratory case study to evaluate whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at IADT where ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as actual collaborative activities occurring within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. The objective of this research is to address the following research questions: 1. Is there evidence for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? 2. Are there obstacles preventing ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? 3. Are systems and structures embedded within IADT to overcome obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’? 4. Can higher levels of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ be achieved at IADT?
  20. 8 This exploratory research may aid in providing a conceptual

    framework working hypothesis for further research on the Hunt enterprise engagement objectives. 1.6 The Structure of the Research The method of research selected is an exploratory case study. Therefore a subject Institute of Technology (IoT) was carefully selected on the basis of a number of defining characteristics. The fact that IADT is one of the smallest IoTs in Ireland suggests that the case study method, with a relatively small number of interviews, has the potential to provide relevant, informed insights on the research question. The primary research comprised qualitative data collection via twelve semi-structured interviews with opinion leaders, decision makers and key informants drawn from those populations within IADT’s enterprise ecosystem that relevant to the research question (namely IADT Staff, Business Owning Alumni and Incubator companies). To seek further insight on the policy environment of the Hunt Report and the Higher Education Authority two further respondents were interviewed from the Higher Education Authority. The interviews were carried out over a period of three months during the summer of 2011. Secondary research primarily focussed on reports, conference proceedings and journal articles. The research strategy of Gibbs (2008) is employed in this study whereby the literature review is used to examine themes, trends and previous research to provide a framework and structure for analysis of the data collected to answer the research question and to enable comparison for the identification of consistent themes. Analytic codes and categories/themes are identified in the theory and models examined in the literature review. This framework provides the basis for the analysis of the qualitative data. The interview transcripts were analysed for descriptive codes. These descriptive codes were sorted into the relevant analytic codes and themes drawn from the literature review. The resulting data was compiled into tabular form. The researcher then examined the coded data for trends, patterns and themes in the tabulated data. The key findings that emerged from the above process are presented under each of the research questions and subsequently triangulated against the relevant literature in order to compare and contrast results. The research is limited to one academic institution, a focus on one industry sector with respondents drawn from a limited geographical area.
  21. 9 1.7 Research Outcomes Outline The answer to the research

    question is that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring at IADT within the sample respondents. This finding emerges from the progression of answers to the tests of the research instruments employed in the research study. Research Question 1 finds that enterprise engagement is occurring at IADT however once the instruments of ‘effective network’, ‘actual collaboration’ and ‘symbiotic engagement’ tests are applied to the tabulated data it is found that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not currently occurring at IADT. Research Question 2 identifies that the obstacles undermining effective engagement include ‘Misalignment’, ‘Culture Gaps’, and ‘Disconnect’. Research Question 3 examines the systems and structures currently underpinning enterprise engagement at IADT. The data suggests that there is excessive dependence on individual initiative in this activity at IADT. The finding from the data is that the systems and structures do not currently exist at IADT to overcome the obstacles to effective engagement. The majority of enterprise engagements occurring at IADT are informal and not required by the President to be formally captured or reported. The matter of enterprise engagement appears from the data to be a relatively low priority internally despite public announcements to the contrary. While the prospect of short term change is not evident within the data, when assessing prospects for future improvements Research Question 4 found that there is enthusiasm for an increase in effective engagement. However in order to increase transivity and homophilly within the IADT enterprise ecosystem a range of enabling conditions need to be addressed in advance. These enabling requirements were identified by IADT staff as internal culture change and the necessity for enterprise engagement activities to be recognised in their employment contacts. Incubators and Alumni were concerned about quality control and the overhead of learning curves on each side being identified as something that they would require to be addressed. The hidden costs of ineffective interfacing between IADT and enterprise were cited as an inhibitor currently. Turning to the types of benefits sought by Incubators and Alumni as an incentive for increases in engagement, a significant finding is that all the benefits identified are engagements that would improve the ‘effective network’ for IADT and would not necessarily cost a significant amount of money to implement. The benefits they cited included the opportunities to help build their personal profile and their network, networking with most promising students at IADT and finally being offered networking opportunities with high profile people to provide potential opportunities for their business.
  22. 10 Therefore Research Question 4 finds that an increase in

    ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is conditional on the commitment of the new President and senior management to implement deep rooted internal culture change at IADT. The cumulative impact of the above answers to the research question is that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents). This finding has serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to generate non- exchequer revenue streams and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The finding is corroborated by the fact that in the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013. It is noted that exploratory case study research is not typically generalisable to the population at large therefore the limitations noted in Chapter 3 concerning these findings should be borne in mind. 1.8 Conclusion This chapter outlined the structure of this research study. It considered the topics of introducing the subject matter of the research question and provided the rationale for the research. The aims and objectives of the research were stated. The research strategy, procedure and method of analysis were introduced. These topics are important to enabling the research to be communicated to the reader in an understandable manner and to enable critical assessment. The next chapter will consider topics concerning the nature and structure of the organisations on both sides of the innovation interface, HEIs and SMEs. It will then examine the interface between the two for typical obstacles encountered. These topics relate to this thesis by providing the framework for supporting the choice of the research question and the related research instruments required to answer the research question.
  23. 11 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction The previous chapter

    provided a detailed overview of this research study. It considered the rationale for the research, the aims and objectives and how the research is to be conducted. It also presented a summary of the structure of the research and the outcomes of the research. The purpose of this chapter is to serve as a foundation for this dissertation. In order to support the aim of this study the method of Gibbs (2008) is adopted by using the literature review to examine themes, trends and previous research in order to provide a framework for posing the research question and a structure for an analysis of the data collected to answer the question. This introduction will provide a short overview of the structure and layout of the chapter’s contents. The chapter commences by investigating the foundation literature. Through an examination of the broad issues and challenges facing HEIs and SMEs the basis for establishing the research question is identified (i.e. the necessity for collaborative engagement between HEIs and SMEs). The research question is further refined and operationalised via the core literature. The core literature seeks to examine the nature of collaborative engagement at the interface between HEIs and SMEs. It seeks to identify in the literature the typical obstacles to engagement between HEIs and SMEs. A detailed examination is then conducted of the Hunt Report model for the broad instruments and process for enterprise engagement which it prescribes. The identification of the need for empirical research draws on the foundation and core literature to argue the case for research into ‘effective enterprise engagement’ being necessary and relevant at this time. The final outcome of this chapter is the formulation of a framework and set of research instruments for identifying the existence of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ in a research study. Based on these research instruments a definition of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is then formulated. The objectives of this study in support of the research aim are then identified.
  24. 12 2.2 Review of Foundation Literatures 2.2.1 The Irish Higher

    Education Sector Ireland has seven universities and fourteen Institutes of Technology (fifteen if the Dublin Institute of Technology is included however it is not a member of the IoT association and has the status of a university in terms of academic conferrals) serving a population of over four and a half million. Each has its own academic structure and administration. According to the Institutes of Technology Research Coordination and Support Office (2010) the IoTs work to a three-fold mission of teaching & learning, research & development and enterprise support. IoTs award their own degrees under delegated authority from HETAC. They provide Higher Certificates (National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 6) or Ordinary Bachelors’ degrees (NFQ Level 7) and Honours Bachelors’ degrees (NFQ Level 8 and 9) to students. Many of the IoTs provide a range of postgraduate programmes at Master’s and Doctoral level. The Institutes also provide part-time programmes catering for the continuing professional development and education of the workforce. In 2006 a new Institutes of Technology Act 2006 put the IoTs on the same footing as the universities in their interaction with HEA. The Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire (henceforth IADT) is located in the county of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. The current County Development Plan (2010, p.275) identifies IADT as an important asset to the county in stating: “Strong evidence exists internationally to suggest that successful cities are those that achieve strong linkages and synergies between their universities and businesses”. An IADT Staff respondent stated to the researcher that “The Media Cube (IADT’s incubation centre) has become part of the enterprise support system in the county and all support agencies see it as a location where anyone that wants to start a business goes.” IADT occupies a differentiated role within the Institutes of Technology sector. It has significant strengths in arts, technology and enterprise, sectors where employment demand for students is growing. As a result IADT courses experience high popularity with potential students. Non teaching activities at IADT are predominantly organised via the Development Office and include industry interaction, collaborative commercial research (innovation
  25. 13 partnerships and commercialisation), applied research/collaborative research, joint initiatives with

    other Institutions in or outside the state, incubation services, consultancy, programmes/training for industry and for those in employment, facilities rental, international students, Erasmus student mobility and placements, undergraduate student placements, marketing and public relations. Within the Irish higher education sector IADT is one of the smallest, placed thirteenth out of Ireland’s fifteen IoTs on the basis of graduate numbers in 2010 (when DIT is included as an IoT) and tenth in terms of post-graduate student numbers. According to HETAC (2011) there were 340 academic members of staff or 117 Full Time Equivalents employed at IADT in 2010. In that year IADT educated 3.3% of all under-graduates in the IoT sector and 2.6% of post-graduates in the IoT sector (HEA Enrolment 2010). It is also one of the newest having received its IoT status in 1997 (as against the average of the mid to late nineteen seventies for the IoTs comprising the sector). It might be argued that these relatively small percentages reflect the niche specialism of IADT (many IoTs provide a full range of disciplines whereas IADT concentrates on the creative arts, creative technologies and business and humanities) and reflect the fact that the Institute has no Level 6 undergraduate programmes (which comprise a considerable proportion of the programmes offered at some IoTs). At IADT the majority of programmes are at Level 8 and 9 which may reflect the high concentration of the ABC social-economic grouping in the area in which IADT is located. In May 2011 IADT appointed Dr. Annie Doona as President. Dr. Doona spent most of her adult life working in the UK's HEI sector before returning to Ireland in 2007. 2.2.2 The Changing Role of the Sector In respect of the changing nature of the mission of higher education Von Prondzynski (2011) sees the journey HEIs have made from teachers to creators of economic value as commencing with their original teaching and scholarship mission. Subsequently pressure to develop new knowledge, as well as disseminating it, saw scholarship evolve into research thereby creating a second mission. This involved a focus on published research which enabled the academic community to share information. The desire of funding governments to secure a transfer of knowledge via a move effective linkage between HEIs and the needs of society and industry created a third mission of technology transfer. Elements of this third mission are the focus of this research study. Figure 1 below illustrates the progression of the mission of HEIs.
  26. 14 Figure 1: The expansion of the University mission. The

    figure below shows the migration from teaching (i.e. received knowledge) through research and entrepreneurship to a potential corporate model, which incorporates elements of vocational training (Adapted from Etzkowitz 2003 p.115). A range of political, technological and economic pressures are converging on the higher education sector. Political in the form of policy reforms envisaged in a number of government initiated reports from statutory constituted bodies. These include, but are not limited to, the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, Research Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006 and the High Level Group report on International Education 2010. Economic pressures exist in the form of government funding cutbacks and the imminent introduction of student fees at a time when educational qualifications are extremely important (Cedefop 2008). As illustrated in Figure 2 below data from the UK university sectors illustrates that the HEI sector is over dependent on government funding in the form of teaching grants and research grants. It is thought that a similar situation prevails in Ireland. An HEI recruitment embargo has been in place for the past two years and other cut-backs have restricted HEIs in their ability to respond to the challenges which the economy and enterprises face. According to Durkin et al (2011) fees are expected to increase the pressure on students to become discerning consumers of education whereby HEIs are perceived as service providers from which they are making a purchase and expectations rise accordingly.
  27. 15 An increased insistence on the direct relevance of course

    content to employability and innovation in teaching methods is expected from fee paying students. Figure 2: The revenue portfolio for UK universities (PA Consulting 2011 p.4). Technological pressures are emerging in the form of e-learning, mobile learning (via smart phones or tablet computers) and a trend towards “just in time” learning, all of which have the potential to reduce the demand for formal, accredited qualifications, the stock in trade of HEIs. Liburd and Hjalager (2010), in addressing collaborative open source education, refer to the declining role of higher education institutions as knowledge monopolies and their emerging role as open knowledge mediators. Market place pressures take the form of new, private sector entrants (such as recently launched Institute of Business and Technology with campus facilities in a number of locations in Dublin) which are highly focussed in terms of course content, post-graduation employability and the use of technology in the provision of learning to reduce overheads and increase student satisfaction. It is argued (Upton, 2011; Durkin et al, 2011) that due to the convergence of these “perfect storm” circumstances the higher education sector is experiencing a strategic inflection point (Grove 1996) whereby the structure and basis of competition within the industry are undergoing radical change. In response the limits to an entrepreneurial response imposed by the traditional nature of higher education structures (Brennan and McGowan 2006) may have to be rapidly dismantled. However Upton (2011) also points out that the combined challenges faced by HEIs create a unique opportunity for transformation. Educational institutions willing to think laterally can position themselves to outperform into the future. This sentiment is echoed by Archbold
  28. 16 (2010) who highlights the need for sustained creativity and

    innovation across all sectors of society due to the current economic circumstances. Having identified at a high level a number of the issues that HEIs face the literature review now examines the nature of SMEs on the other side of the innovation interface and the issues they face. 2.2.3 Small & Medium Sized Enterprises International research has identified small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as a key driver of economic growth (Birch 1979). They are the key source of innovation in a capitalist economy (Acs and Audretsch 1990) and bring more innovation to the market than large enterprises. SMEs are the dominant form of business organisation in Ireland and the European Union. They make up 99% of the 22 million businesses in Europe, contribute 57% of European GDP and employ close to 120 million people (EU Grants Advisor 2006). To avoid undue dependence on multi-national enterprises a number of national policy initiatives see growth, innovation and internationalisation by SMEs as the medium term solution to Ireland’s current economic difficulties. However it is open to question how realistic this expectation is in light of the difficulties that SMEs face (European Union Information Society 2004 p2): “SMEs are struggling every day for economic survival… lack of time, lack of resources, lack of skilled employees, lack of easy to use technology adapted to SMEs” The lack of training and lack of access to relevant resources (including design, know how, intermediaries, networks) undermines the enterprise’s capacity to absorb and capitalise on innovation (European Regional Development Fund 2009). The benefits of an ability to be innovative are well established. Research conducted by the European Union in respect of the innovation behaviours of two hundred SMEs in the Irish Border Regions identified that the benefits of the innovation discipline as gains of up to thirty percent consistent growth in sales, greater longevity (the average age of innovative firm was 28 years) and are more profitable than non-innovating firms in the sample (European Regional Development Fund 2009). However there are distinct differences in participation in innovation by different sized SMEs. Just 38.9% of small firms with between ten and forty nine employees engage in either product or process innovation compared to 75.8% of
  29. 17 companies with in excess of two hundred and fifty

    employees (Forfas 2011). The research suggests that smaller sized SMEs are unable to fund/supervise research and development (R&D) to the extent needed to remain competitive in rapidly changing environment. The exploitation of innovation normally depends on access to knowledge and the ability to synthesise and successfully exploit it. According to Nachira et al (2007) SMEs and local clusters are now competing in a global and dynamic market where they need more interrelations, more specialised resources, more research and innovation as well as access to global value chains and knowledge. In response Ireland’s Report of the Innovation Taskforce (2010) states that the education system is pivotal in making innovation happen and should be a key facilitator and enabler of SME innovation. When one surveys the landscape in search of the best potential candidate to address the issues that enterprises face Ireland’s Institutes of Technology (IoTs) would appear, due to their specific mandate, to be the best candidates. Forfas (Ireland’s state policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation) states that IoTs are assigned the role of providers of applied and multi-technology solutions to industrial needs (2010). The Hunt Report refines this mandate to a prioritisation of the needs of small and medium enterprises. This mandate arises from the crucial role these enterprises play in innovation and job creation in the modern economy. According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2006) the multi-regional nature of IoTs and their openness to working with industry provides a platform upon which real industrial impact can be built. Therefore in conclusion of the foundation literature section it has been established that HEIs are undergoing a period of change due to economic, policy, technical and competitive challenges. It has been identified that SMEs are the most common form of business unit in Ireland and the European Union and are a key source of jobs and innovation in the economy. Due to resources issues SMEs predominantly suffer from an inability to engage effectively in innovation and growth. National policy identifies that HEIs are well positioned to address this failure and seeks to require that HEIs do so via the objectives contained in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.
  30. 18 2.3 Review of the Core Literature 2.3.1 What constitutes

    effective engagement at the innovation interface between HEIs and Enterprise? The Hunt report requires HEIs to diversify their funding streams from an over-dependence on government sources and to seek to phase in funding from engaging in the provision of professional, collaborative services to SMEs across what may be termed the innovation interface. In the context of sustainable engagement between HEIs and enterprise Kaur-Gill (2011, p.3) defines engagement in this context as: “Engagement implies purposive, considerate and productive interaction with both internal and external stakeholders for the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships”. The Hunt Report (Hunt 2011 p. 12) defines the process of engagement as: “Outward-facing systems and structures should be embeded into institutional activity, so that there are inward and outward flows of knowledge, staff, students and ideas between each institution and its external community.” As noted in Kaur-Gill (2011) enterprise engagement should be purposive. In this context Hunt states that a key purpose of engagement must be the reduction of dependence on exchequer funding by earning revenue from responding to the relevant innovation and training needs of SMEs. Similar goals have driven recent government higher education policy in other countries. According to PA Consulting it is no longer sustainable for HEIs in the UK to be over- dependent on exchequer funding in the new realities. They state that HEIs need to change internal culture to create portfolios of earned income (see Figure 3 below).
  31. 19 Figure 3: The emerging new economics of Higher Education

    – This figure illustrates the need for HEIs to move from supply-side entitlement to earning revenue from a range of responsive activities (PA Consulting 2011 p.3). On the issue of HEIs creating new sources of income Hunt (2011 p. 16) states: “Diversifying funding sources should be linked to a more responsive and open engagement with key stakeholders, particularly students and enterprise, and a drive to find new ways to link higher education research and innovation capacity to the needs of the public and private sectors.” In order to create conditions to drive such responsiveness the Hunt Report (Section 5.6, p79) recommends that the Higher Education Authority conduct a survey of employers, which would be “used as part of an assessment of quality outcomes for the system”. The IoT sector would appear to be broadly in agreement with the objective of increased responsiveness to SME needs. According to the minutes of the meeting of the Minister of Education with a group representing the IoT sector, the Minister queried the use of time by IoT academic staff in light of the low academic publication record in the IoT generally observed in the IoT sector.
  32. 20 The group responded by saying that the IoT mission

    (Department of Education 2011 p3) is: “...more focussed on engagement with business and industry (including enterprises, purpose-driven research, new business incubation and support) than academic publications.” However there are a number of criticisms of the Hunt Report in respect of its engagement objectives. Begley (2011) states that the report lacks strategic thinking and is not clear on the means which be pursued in achieving the multi-faceted objectives it contains particularly in respect of engagement. Von Prondsinski (2012) states that the ”major idea” in the report is that there should be a centrally determined national strategy for higher education, and a set of structures to ensure that this gets implemented by the HEIs. His criticism is that this approach may not be successful, in his opinion universities are at their most innovative and creative when they are allowed to pursue their own vision. The Dean’s office at National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM 2011) states that universities’ engagement with its external stakeholders has been almost ‘too routinised’ within the fabric of its operations to be extracted and quantified. The Dean (NUIM 201, p.12) goes on to focus criticism on the potential threats to the autonomy of HEIs in the Hunt engagement mandate. Specifically noting that: “When considering forms of wider engagement for the university sector, it will be crucial to consider ways of engaging that exploit rather than compromise this cherished autonomy.” The Dean sees this autonomy as potentially threatened when the Hunt Report speaks of facilitating employer input into curriculum design and development as neither the nature or the level of employer input into curriculum design is clarified nor how this input would be compatible with “pre-existing levels of refereed academic scrutiny”. The Dean’s final concern in respect of engagement relates to the fact that, in respect of inward and outward flows cited in Hunt, the mobility envisaged is overwhelmingly between the university and the “world of work and business”. In respect of achieving the diversified funding streams from this mobility the Dean believes that such responsiveness “should not lead to a dilution of scholarly and professional standards in the interests of flexible expediency”.
  33. 21 The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT 2011, p.1)

    criticise the report for “singularly lacking any specific indicators of how any of its recommendations might be implemented". They also state that the panel comprising the report’s fifteen members did not include representatives of academic staff and as such does not take sufficient conscience of the practicalities of how the HEI sector operates. Having identified a number of criticisms of the Hunt Report this chapter now examines what is meant by ‘effective enterprise engagement’. 2.3.2 Defining what is meant by ‘effective enterprise engagement’ Research by Perkmann et al (2011) has found that existing measures of engagement activities at the HEI-Enterprise interface are typically too narrow. Their research finds that the academic literature focuses excessively on commercialisation activities as a measure of engagement. They find that this measure is too superficial and not indicative of genuine engagement (or what they title ‘actual collaboration’). They state that to measure genuine engagement the degree of engagement across the entire range of potential collaborations (i.e. collaborative research, contract research, consulting etc.) must be examined. The Hunt Report appears to be in sympathy with this position and identifies a broad range of collaborative services that it expects to underpin HEI’s engagement with SMEs. In this respect Hunt identifies these as research and innovation activities across the entire spectrum from applied research and commercialisation to development and consulting activities. It also includes educational services such as Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training to improve the growth and sustainability of SMES. From the sampling carried out by the researcher the journal literature on the subject of Irish HEI enterprise engagement appears to focus on technology transfer (McAdam et al 2009, Bradley et al 1995, Lai Chun and Garvin 2001) and at the other end of the spectrum on how student learning outcomes can be improved by use of entrepreneurship education and interaction (Hegarty 2006). Little research appears in searches on the conditions necessary for creating ‘actual collaboration’ in an Irish setting at the innovation interface. Therefore in the absence of insights from the Irish literature how might one identify if ‘actual collaboration’ is occurring within the network of participants at the case study IoT? To seek to answer this question one must commence by examining elements of Social Network Theory. Interactions between different participants in a network, and the propensity for this to
  34. 22 draw in other uninvolved participants, are measured transivity. If

    there is a tie between A and B and one between B and C then, in a transitive network, A and C will also be drawn in to interacting (Granovetter 1973). However different ties within a network have different degrees of density with concomitant results for the effectiveness and embeddedness of those in the network. Epstein (1969 p 110) defines the "effective network" as those with whom one "interacts most intensely and most regularly". Homophilly is an important concept to appreciate when one considers how an “effective network” may be grown to incorporate a larger number of businesses in embedded relationships with an IoT. Homophilly describes the positive relationship between the similarity of two constituents in a network and the propensity of a tie being created between them. This propensity increases in line with the degree that the other constituent mirrors their interests (i.e. it is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others). So for example in the case of IADT their stated specialisation in digital media attracts digital media companies to their incubation centre and shapes a cluster of organisations with similar, mutually reinforcing goals. Therefore transivity and homophilly are key characteristics evident in ‘effective networks’. Now that the conditions supporting the existence of an “effective network” have been established (i.e. that there is intensely and regularly interaction between the participants) one may now progress to seeking to understand what is meant by ‘actual collaboration’ in a network context. For the purposes of this research Perkmann et al (2011)’s definition of “actual collaboration” as equal intensity of interaction across all categories of engagement is adopted. A final component of arriving at a definition for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is to seek an understanding of the motivations of the participants. A key motivation for engaging in effective collaborative networks is the desire by the participants to achieve resource efficiency. A key driver of the Hunt Report is to achieve resource efficiency for HEIs and their collaborative partners, the outcomes it envisages seek to create better results for both participants, i.e. better meeting the growth needs of SMEs which in turn generates revenue streams for the HEI. Such behaviour is characterised as symbiotic.
  35. 23 The concept of symbiosis is normally associated with biological

    and business ecosystems. A biological ecosystem contains complex relationships and engagements among its members. Plants and animals that depend on a particular ecosystem for survival also contribute essential ingredients/resources to that environment. A tree's roots draw nutrients and water from the soil but then contribute fallen leaves for next year's soil. These symbiotic exchange relationships underpin the ecosystem (US Army Corps of Engineers 2009). The research of Iansiti and Levien (2004) found that a business ecosystem similarly contains a high rate of interdependency among member firms and the member firms normally benefit from any value-creating member of the ecosystem. A key driver of the Hunt Report is to achieve resource efficiency for HEIs and their collaborative partners, the outcomes it envisages seek to create better results for both participants, i.e. better meeting the growth needs of SMEs which in turn generates revenue streams for the HEI. The resource efficiency created by symbiosis is evident where the companies composing an ecosystem group exhibit the “ability to consistently transform technology and other raw materials of innovation into lower costs and new products” (Iansiti and Levien, 2004, p. 72). Therefore in the context of this study symbiotic engagement is defined as the ability to collaboratively transform technology and other raw materials of innovation into lower costs and new products that benefit both parties simultaneously, the SME in, inter alia, increased revenue and the HEI in increased license revenue and other ancillary benefits. The key advantage of the presence of ‘symbiotic engagement’ in the network is that it encourages increases in transivity and homophilly thereby creating the conditions for network growth to include larger numbers of participants. Summarising the above discussion the series of instruments to be applied in progression which provide the test for the presence of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ are as follows: 1. Does an ‘effective network’ exist: This is characterised by regular and intense interaction as opposed to one off transactional engagements. The goal of this test is to establish if the relationship is embedded within the enterprise activities of the participants. 2. Is ‘actual collaboration’ taking place within the ‘effective network’? This is characterised by equal intensity of engagement across all categories of engagement.
  36. 24 The goal of this test is to establish whether

    any embeddedness identified is broad enough to constitute genuine engagement. 3. Is ‘symbiotic engagement’ evident in the ‘actual collaborations’? The goal of this test is to establish whether collaborative innovation, training and professional development is occurring in a manner that creates equal revenue and benefits to all parties. The purpose of this test is to identify conditions for increases of transivity and homophilly creating the conditions for growing the ‘effective network’. This in turn provides the potential for a virtuous circle developing, the greater the ‘effective network’ the greater the opportunities for creating ‘actual collaboration’. Therefore for the purposes of this study ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as genuinely collaborative activities within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. At this point it is important to examine the factors that can prevent effective engagement occurring at the innovation interface between HEIs and enterprise. 2.3.3 Obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ Literature documents that many HEI-Enterprise interactions are undermined by obstacles of various types at the points where they engage, termed the ‘innovation interface’. Obstacles to ‘actual collaboration’ undermine effective networks forming through the undermining of trust. The specific obstacles documented in the literature concerning the engagement of HEIs with small and medium enterprise will now be identified. In terms of the nature of obstacles identified in the literature one theme reflects what might be termed as a culture gap. According to Ruben (2005) academic institutions are on occasion criticised for inefficiency, indifference to external constituencies and resistance to change. In HEIs the reward structure has traditionally been based primarily on success in teaching, publishing and in acquiring grants (Pera 2009) while in the private sector the focus is on profit. These motivations are not mutually aligned so it is believed to be difficult for HEIs to engage effectively in innovation collaboration without changing its organisational focus. According to the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (2006) as long as a commonality of interests does not exist the challenges and difficulties associated with ensuring industry engages effectively will persist. IADT School of Creative Technologies (2010, p.7) cites:
  37. 25 “The Enterprise Ireland representative was of the opinion that

    a culture gap may exist between IADT and industry in general, with a lot of companies not being aware of the college’s existence.” IADT’s current strategic plan states that a key challenge that the institute face is that of securing effective industry engagement (IADT President 2008). Another common theme identified in the literature is misalignment. The Report of the Innovation Taskforce (2010) finds that small and medium enterprises individually, in groups, and as part of industry associations have been poor at interpreting, co-ordinating and defining their research needs and communicating them at a range of levels to the academic sector. As a result they are not easy partners for HEIs to align collaborative activities with. This obstacle is compounded by the fact that the struggles which small and medium enterprises experience have many direct parallels within HEIs. According to The Institutes of Technology Research Coordination and Support Office (2010) managing and facilitating the relationships between the varied activities taking place at the typical IoT (including undergraduate and postgraduate education, lifelong learning, research, innovation, enterprise support, knowledge transfer etc) are complex and inter-dependent. As such they leave little internal capacity for addressing external agendas such as the uncoordinated needs of SMEs. Pera (2009), Nesta (2009) and Atkinson and Wial (2008) find that the alignment of many educational institutions’ strategic objectives and resources with the commercial world is currently sub-optimal due to HEI bureaucracy, disagreements over intellectual property, university researchers motivations and the long term orientation of university research De Jong, et al (2008 p232) also identify similar alignment obstacles in their study of HEIs in the Netherlands, Belgium and Estonia noting that: “Relationships between universities and business need active management. Barriers between business and universities are rising as businesses are frustrated with university bureaucracy and the ‘unrealistic expectations’ of universities about how much research discoveries are worth. “ A number of specific obstacles to engagement were identified in the IADT literature which were consistent with a theme of what may be termed disconnect in respect of enterprise engagement. IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) notes “Staff acknowledged the need for a
  38. 26 stronger dialogue with Industry across the School.” And HETAC

    (2011, p.14) makes a coded reference to disconnect in noting: “It recognises the Media Cube’s engagements with the wider Institute and considers that there is further scope for enhancement by building on the relationships with three schools within IADT.” In light of the obstacles to the formation of effective networks one must examine the literature to identify how the impact of these obstacles can be mitigated, if not removed. In terms of seeking solutions from within HEIs Houston et al (2006) note that, in the context of culture change within the university sector, there was a lack of problem-solving or creative thinking by academics who, he presumed, would apply their professional skills to their organisational work. Feedback from the focus group meetings in his study suggested that staff in the university had retreated to a ‘‘culture of blame’’ stance rather than proactive problem-solving or advocacy to address difficulties in workloads management. Looking for guidance from biological ecosystems processes in a biological ecosystem are characterised by systemic behaviour. The US Army Corps of Engineers (2009) state that the function of a biological ecosystem must be considered as a whole as every part of the ecosystem has a functional effect on the others. The key defining process involves a cycle of exchange of materials between living things and the environment the parameters of which are set by feedback loops within the system. Processes in business are also characterised by the systemic behaviour where it is argued that the only way to fully understand why an element occurs and persists in a business environment is to understand the parts in relation to the whole (Capra 1996). Deming (2000) identifies a system as a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the goal of the system. He states that in organisational behaviour without aim there is no system (i.e. it has no defining identity). Therefore in order for activity to be systemic it should be organised behaviour geared towards a defined goal. Therefore the systemic nature of the processes evident in biological and business ecosystems help mitigate obstacles to the operation of the process. If correctly regulated, systems have the potential to overcome or prevent obstacles from limiting the effectiveness of the relevant process (George 2003). In respect of systems to drive ‘effective enterprise engagement’ the Hunt Report (2011 p. 12) notes that “Outward-facing systems and structures should be
  39. 27 embedded into institutional activity” with the objective of “creating

    a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents”. However for any system to be effective in respect of human processes it must seek to address the intrinsic motivations of the participants to ensure their participation to a degree where effective networks may be formed. The review of relevant IADT literature identified a number of sample interactions identified as occurring with the groups selected from the IADT enterprise ecosystem (see Appendix 5 for the specific references identified). They include access to resources such as opportunities to network with academics, access to resources such as the physical resources of the HEI, student work placements and internships, Innovation Vouchers (a collaborative research funding programme managed by Enterprise Ireland), work based training and staff training programmes, guest lecture opportunities and access to students to carryout projects/assignments on opportunities/issues that confront the business. In conclusion of the review of core literature the aspiration of the Hunt report in respect of enterprise engagement has been identified as inward and outward flows of knowledge, staff, students and ideas. Based on a synthesis of the concepts of ‘effective network’, ’actual collaboration’ and ‘symbiotic engagement’ effective enterprise engagement is defined as genuine collaborative activities within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. The units of such engagement at IADT include student work placements and internships, Innovation Vouchers, work based training and staff training programmes, guest lecture opportunities and access to students to carryout projects/assignments on opportunities/issues that confront the business. Obstacles to such ‘effective enterprise engagement’ include culture gap, misalignment and disconnect. Instruments for mitigating the effect of obstacles in biological and business ecosystems are systems and structures which underpin the key processes. The Hunt report makes a similar statement that outward-facing systems and structures should be embedded into institutional activity to embed engagement within HEIs.
  40. 28 2.4 Identification of the need for Empirical Research The

    foundation literature review identified the nature, structure and challenges faced by HEIs and SMEs in their respective domains of operation. It is evident that both face similar issues (while of a different scale) and share common objectives in respect of sustainability of their organisations in the current environment. However the literature suggests this commonality of interests has not yet percolated to the level of operational behaviour. The foundation literature also identified the key Hunt Report objective of what may be termed ‘effective enterprise engagement’ as having the potential to play a key role in the national recovery of Ireland’s SME population. However as noted earlier the Hunt Report has been the subject of a number of criticisms since its publication. These criticisms focus, inter alia, on the fact that it does not contain metrics or clear structural guidance as to how the enterprise engagement objectives are to be met by Irish HEIs. This question is deserving of further investigation given its key importance on two levels, addressing the pressing innovation and growth requirements of SMEs and the diversified funding requirements of HEIs. As noted in the core literature an investigation of current literature on enterprise engagement yields results which appear to focus on technology transfer at one end of the spectrum and at the other extreme on how learning outcomes can be improved by use of guest lecturers. While academic research has identified obstacles at the interface little research appears to exist in an Irish context on the measures and conditions necessary for the existence of ‘actual collaboration’ which has the potential to create engagement of the type required by Hunt. Now that a definition of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ has been formulated how might the question of measuring it be operationalised (i.e. converted in a way that enables putative facts to be measured quantitatively) to facilitate research? In order to seek an answer the research question must be operationalised into a number of key issues with their associated tests. Given that the aim of this study is to evaluate whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at IADT one would also seek to examine current interactions, identify any obstacles, identify existing systems and finally attempt to identify the conditions for improvement.
  41. 29 2.5 Identification of the Objectives of this Study In

    order to address the gap identified in current literature on the subject of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at Irish HEIs an exploratory case study is proposed at IADT. The aim is to seek to identify whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at IADT. In terms of operationalising this aim the objective of this research is to seek answers to the following research questions: 1. Is there evidence for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? 2. Are there obstacles preventing ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? 3. Are systems and structures embedded within IADT to overcome obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’? 4. Can higher levels of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ be achieved at IADT? The first research question relates to identifying evidence for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT. In order to address this question the tests identified in the literature review will be applied. Therefore in respect of Research Question 1 the researcher is seeking to identify in primary research with interview respondents evidence of the units of engagement identified in the literature review. This will be augmented by any further interactions that emerge during the analysis of the interview transcripts. In order to seek to identify if the respondents are in an ’effective network’ with IADT the researcher is seeking evidence from the interview transcripts for regular and intense interactions between the respondents as opposed to once off transactional engagements. Once the data is compiled in tabular form the ‘actual collaboration’ test (that engagement is evident in the sample across the entire range of interactions) is applied to the results of the data analysis. The final test instrument is for the presence of ‘symbiotic engagement’. This test seeks to identify the degree to which engagements identified are, or have the short-term potential, to generate revenue for IADT while meetings the relevant needs of SMEs. In seeking to address the second question of whether there are there obstacles preventing ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT the researcher is seeking evidence in the primary research data of obstacles identified in the interview responses. During the research analysis
  42. 30 stage this will be assessed by reference to the

    framework of obstacles identified in the literature review namely misalignment, culture gaps and disconnect. In respect of Research Question 3 the researcher is seeking evidence of systems and structures embedded at IADT that have the potential to overcome obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’. Here the primary data will be assessed for evidence of whether engagements cited by the respondents take place in a structured, systematic way using the coding contained in the analysis framework The ideal situation from a Hunt perspective is to have as many of the constituents as possible benefitting from symbiotic relationships within the effective network (i.e. increasing the transivity and homophilly of the network). Without ‘symbiotic engagements’ the virtuous circle of growing the ‘effective network’ will not be evident. Therefore the final research question of this study seeks to identify the conditions whereby ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT may be increased. The research test for this question will be to seek to identify from the research the disposition of respondents towards an increase in effective engagement, what the enabling requirements would be for such an increase and what benefits might incentivise the respondents to participate in an increase in engagement. The analytic codes and content analysis framework has been compiled for the tests contained in the objectives of this study are contained in Appendices 6,7, 8 and 9. 2.6 Conclusion Therefore in conclusion of the literature review the researcher has sought to provide a summary of existing knowledge on the interface between HEIs and SMEs and a critical evaluation of said. Previous research has shown HEIs and SMEs face many challenges which collaborative activities have the potential to ameliorate (in the case of SMEs an increase in innovation and for HEIs an increase in revenue). The reason why this study is necessary is due to the specific criticisms of the lack of guidance on how the enterprise engagement objectives contained in the Hunt Report are to be effected. In respect of the Irish literature enterprise engagement there appears to be an excessive focus on technology transfer and at the other extreme on how learning outcomes can be improved by use of guest lecturers. The gap that this study intends to address is the paucity of research completed on the ‘effective enterprise engagement’ which has the potential to create ‘actual collaboration’.
  43. 31 In order to operationalise the test for ‘effective enterprise

    engagement’ a series of progressive research instruments were formulated. These tests will be applied progressively to the primary data in order to seek to arrive at valid conclusions. The limits or boundaries of this study are examined in detail in Chapter 3 but may be summarised as follows. The study is limited to one very specific objective contained in a very wide ranging National Strategy on Higher Education. The interview schedule was completed under some time pressure. It is also noted that this study was carried out with the sole, limited resources of the individual researcher. Furthermore while interview transcriptions sought to capture all words spoken the researcher concedes that this was not possible in every circumstance. The research is limited due to the weakness of the case study approach (one cannot easily generalise from one case study to another and as a result multiple cases are preferable), that it focused on one industry sector (digital media and animation), had a limited sample size from a limited geographical area and was limited to one academic institution. While these limitations are of some consequence the researcher believes that valid conclusions have been identified due to the care taken in selecting the case study institution, the respondents and the expertise exhibited in adding his interpretation to the data. Furthermore to ensure validity these findings have been triangulated throughout with general theoretical ideas and relevant specific observations in the literature. The next chapter will describe and justify the research methodology, research procedure and research analysis employed in the study. It will also address the limitations of the study, ethical issues and how researcher bias was mitigated. These elements help enable the reader to understand and critically assess the choices and assumptions that the researcher has made in conducting this study.
  44. 32 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction The previous chapter established

    that HEIs are undergoing a period of change due to economic, policy, technical and competitive challenges. It has also been found that SMEs are a key source of jobs and innovation in the economy. They are the most common form of business unit in Ireland and the European Union but due to resources issues predominantly suffer from an inability to engage effectively in innovation. National policy identifies that HEIs are well positioned to address this failure and seeks to require that HEIs do so in objectives contained in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. A number of criticisms of the Hunt Report are made specifically in respect of the absence of clear guidance on mechanisms or measures for engagement. The need for empirical research emerges from these criticisms. In order to address the gap identified in current literature on the subject of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at Irish HEIs an exploratory case study is proposed at IADT. The aim is to seek to identify whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at IADT. This exploratory research may aid in providing a conceptual framework working hypothesis for further research on the Hunt enterprise engagement objectives. The objective of this methodology chapter (methodology being the guideline system for solving a problem, with specific components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools (Gibbs 2008)) is to describe the research methodology used in the study. The chapter will begin with a description of the research philosophy adopted and the research methods used. It will focus on qualitative studies and their appropriateness for this study. The specific qualitative method used and its limitations are defined. The details of how the qualitative data was collected and how the analysis was conducted will be presented. The chapter concludes with an examination of the limitations of the research design. 3.2 What is Research? Sekaran (2000) defines the activity of research as a systematic and organised effort to investigate a specific problem that needs a solution. Creswell (2006) states that research
  45. 33 consists of three steps: the posing of a question,

    the collection of data to answer the question and the presentation of an answer to the question. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research - cite_note-3 Finally Maylor and Blackmon (2005 p5) define research as “A systematic process that includes defining, designing, doing and describing an investigation into a research problem”. In conducting research the researcher should be clear about what is the essence of the enquiry they are undertaking and should express this as an ‘intellectual puzzle’ with a clearly formulated set of research questions (Mason, 2002 p13). According to Carson et al (2001) research questions require outcomes and conclusions that fall into two broad categories of findings: outcomes that identify general statements (generalisations) and those that identify specific understandings and conclusions of an in-depth nature. In terms of the selection of a research methodology Benbasat et al (1987) note that no single research methodology is intrinsically better than any other methodology. Many authors advocate a combination of research methods in order to improve the quality of research. The choice of approach depends to a large extent on the properties of the subject matter and on the objective of the research in hand. Benbasat et al (1987) argue that it should be best suited to the problem under consideration, as well as the objectives of the researcher. The over- riding concern is that the research undertaken should be both relevant to the research question and rigorous in its operability. According to Kumar (2010) an examination of research methodology commences with the application of the research study namely is it applied using basic research or past theories, knowledge and methods for solving an existing problem) or basic (also called pure or fundamental research) research. In the case of the nature of research conducted in this study it is of an applied nature as it seeks to solve a practical problem inherent in the Hunt Report. 3.3 The Research Strategy - Justification of the Research Philosophy, Approach and Method Clarity on the purpose of the research study is necessary in order to inform the choice of research strategy. Kumar (2010) states that the objectives in undertaking the research can be descriptive (describes a situation, phenomenon, problem or issue), confirmatory (where the objective of the research is to find out if a proposed theory is supported by the facts), explanatory (which attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship between two
  46. 34 aspects of a situation or phenomenon) or exploratory, which

    according to Babbie (1998), is used when problems are in a preliminary stage. Exploratory research is a methodological approach that is primarily concerned with discovery and with generating or building theory. An exploratory study is a means of finding out “what is happening, to seek new insights, to ask questions and to assess phenomena in a new light” (Robson 2002 p59). The nature of the purpose of the current study is exploratory because, as identified in the literature review, the National Strategy for Higher Education report contains no empirical guidance or framework to HEIs as to the desired level of engagement required with enterprise. Further justification of the choice of the exploratory approach is due to the fact that the research question examines a group, process, activity or situation which has received little systematic empirical scrutiny in Ireland. A limitation of the exploratory approach is that it is not typically generalisable to the relevant population at large. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. In order to understand and select from the different combination of research methods for exploratory research it is necessary for the researcher to understand different philosophical positions in respect of research. Saunders et al (2009) define the research philosophy as the development of the research background, research knowledge and its nature. In terms of research philosophies Gray (2009) defines positivism as the philosophical assumption that theoretical truths can be distinguished from untruths using scientific methods, and that this can be achieved either by deduction or by empirical support. According to Carson et al (2001) the positivist approach seeks to maintain a clear distinction between facts and value judgements. Here it is maintained that the statistical approach and quantitative processing of data are capable of providing all the necessary tools needed to identify objective facts. In the positivist tradition quantitative research seeks to use the scientific approach of analysis. A hypothesis is stated and the researcher tries to prove or disprove it using methods capable of yielding quantifiable, normally numerical, results. Quantitative research typically asks a narrow question and collects numerical data for analysis using statistical methods.
  47. 35 In the modern era the interpretivist approach emerged in

    light of the fact that reality in many instances is socially constructed rather than objectively determined and many observed human forms of behaviour are not composed of objectively measurable truths. It allows the focus of research to be on “understanding and making sense of phenomena in specific contexts” (Carson et al 2001 p7), a capturing of a dynamic view of the research subject. The positivism paradigm is often known as a systematic or scientific approach, while the interpretivist approach is often interpreted as qualitative, ethnographic, ecological or naturalistic. While positivism ultimately measures snapshots of data for a particular time the interpretivist approach seeks to capture the conceived reality underpinning dynamic human processes and the contextual phenomena of what is happening in a given context. Other research philosophies include realism (a philosophical position which relates to scientific enquiry and postulates that what humans perceive via their senses is the “truth”). According to Carson et al (2001) the distinction between the paradigms is clear on philosophical level but the distinction breaks down when it comes to the detailed implementation of qualitative and quantitative approaches. 3.3.1 Research Approach – Deduction and Induction In academic research conclusions are based on two methods known as deduction and induction. Saunders et al (2009) state that the deductive approach involves the testing of a theoretical proposition by the employment of a research strategy specifically designed for the purpose of its testing. An important characteristic of the deductive approach is that the concepts need to be operationalised in a way that enables putative facts to be measured quantitatively. On the other hand Saunders et al (2009) state that the inductive approach involves the development of a theory based on an examination of the empirical data. The inductive research approach involves the observation of some happening, identifying a pattern and seeking to draw conclusions. While deductive approaches are underpinned by quantitative methods the inductive approach makes use of qualitative methods which enable inductive reasoning processes to interpret and structure the meanings that can be derived from data. According to Holloway (1997) inductive reasoning uses the data to generate ideas (hypothesis generating), whereas deductive reasoning begins with the idea and uses the data to confirm or negate the idea
  48. 36 (hypothesis testing). Schwandt (1997) emphasises that qualitative research is

    often used as a method of exploratory research as a basis for later quantitative research hypotheses. 3.3.2 Research Methods As discussed earlier research methods fall into two groups: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative methods of research involve the collection of data concerning many variables, perhaps through a questionnaire or survey, or also the measurement of just two or several variables by observation or testing. The resulting data is then subjected to statistical analysis in order to establish generalisable relationships between variables. Quantitative methods such as surveys and questionnaires are quite rigid in that researchers ask all respondents identical questions in the same order. Qualitative methods are typically more flexible and involve techniques such as interviews or focus groups. There is the potential to allow greater spontaneity and adaptation of the interaction between the researcher and the study participant. For example, qualitative methods ask mostly “open-ended” questions and the relationship between the researcher and the participant is often less formal than in quantitative research. 3.3.3 Research Strategies Research strategies include inter alia experiments, surveys, case studies, grounded theory, action research, ethnography and archival research. Exploratory studies are generally better served by single cases, i.e. where there is no previous theory (Gibbs 2008). Yin defines the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used (Yin 1994). In light of the fact that this study relates to a single institution the case study research strategy is felt to be most appropriate due to the fact that Benbasat et al. (1987, p.370) argue that using a case study research strategy is appropriate where: It is necessary to study the phenomenon in its natural setting; The researcher can ask "how" and "why" questions, so as to understand the nature and complexity of the processes taking place;
  49. 37 Research is being conducted in an area where few,

    if any, previous studies have been undertaken i.e. if it is a theory building research project. Critics of the case study method (Wisker 2001) believe that the study of a single case can offer no grounds for establishing the reliability or generality of findings. Others feel that the intense exposure to the study of the case biases the findings. 3.3.4 Time Horizon According to Saunders et al (2009) research constituting a “snapshot” at a certain period of time is referred to as a cross-sectional study. Studies that examine a series of “snapshots” over time are termed longitudinal. As the research of this Dissertation examines a particular phenomenon at a particular time it is therefore a cross-sectional study. The following section summarises the justification for the choices made in the Research Strategy. In respect of the Research Philosophy this study adopts the interpretivist philosophy on the basis that the research question seeks to gain an understanding of certain dynamic human processes in the case study institution through the capturing feelings and personal opinions of people in respect of the subject being examined. The research approach employed in this research is inductive. The reason for this choice is that the concepts or variables to be measured in the research are not currently sufficiently defined to be expressed in a testable hypothesis and measured quantitatively. Following from the choice of the inductive research approach this study seeks to collect qualitative data in order to seek to answer the research question. Qualitative data is appropriate to this research study because Stang and Wrightsman (1980) state that exploratory research often relies on qualitative approaches such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies in addition to secondary research. Finally the case study research strategy is chosen due to the nature of the research question (the examination of certain forms of behaviour in their natural setting in a single organisation) and the fact that exploratory studies are generally better served by single cases (Gibbs 2008). 3.4 The Research Procedures Employed in this Study In respect of data sources for research studies researchers can use primary and secondary data sources in seeking to answer their research question. Primary research is necessary for
  50. 38 answering the research question of this study as it

    seeks answers to questions posed but not answered by the Hunt Report. Primary research has been defined as “The study of a subject through firsthand observation and investigation, such as analysing a literary or historical text, conducting a survey or carrying out a laboratory experiment” (Gibaldi 1995 p2). According to Saunders et al (2009) primary research sources can include primary observations (notes of what happened or what was said in a participant observation study), surveys, telephone interviews, focus groups and test marketing. The advantages of primary research include the fact that the data is specific to the research subject; it affords greater control over the task in terms of the research questions selected, size of sample and geographical location of research sample. Finally this method generates data that is proprietary to the researcher. The disadvantages include the potential cost of collection, time taken to collect and the potential for collection of data which may not ultimately inform the research question (despite well constructed questionnaires). The framework for the primary research and for the analysis of the data yielded by the primary research is provided by secondary research. In respect of secondary research Maylor and Blackmon (2005) state that it uses previously collected data which has already been interpreted and recorded. Saunders et al (2009) state that the advantages of using relevant secondary data can include large cost savings, higher quality data than might be collected by one’s own primary means. It may also enable longitudinal studies, can provide comparative and contextual data and finally it may be a data source that is more permanent than one’s own primary data. The disadvantages of secondary data include the fact that it may be costly to access, the quality of information collected may be unsuitable to the research purpose (according to Fink (2005) the assessment of the quality of the information is one of the challenges that the researcher faces), the aggregations and definitions used in the secondary research may fail to provide comparative basis, one has no real control over data quality and finally bias may be inherent in the secondary data that is unobservable to the user. Secondary data sources include documentary and survey based data. 3.4.1 Data Collection Techniques The data collection techniques are informed by the choice in this methodology of the interpretivist philosophy and the case study research strategy. These choices are best served
  51. 39 by a data collection technique that involves in-depth qualitative

    investigations amongst a relatively small sample at the case study organisation. In keeping with the interpretivist philosophy qualitative research techniques were used to generate the primary research data. The main primary research techniques associated with qualitative research include focus groups, observation and interviews. In exploratory research such as this study in-depth interviews can be very helpful to “find out what is happening and to seek new insights” Robson (2002 p59). A further advantage of the interview research technique in the context of the interpretivist nature of this study is its ability to allow themes to emerge from the responses of the respondents. Writers in the area (Gray 2005; Walliman and Baiche 2001) identify three main types of interviews namely structured interviews (involving a set of structured questions to all respondents), semi–structured interviews (which seek to conduct an in-depth examination of the opinions of the interviewees on a list of questions but it is not necessary to adhere to the list compiled) and unstructured interviews (essentially described as conversations with a purpose). The choice of an interpretivist epistemology involves seeking to understand the meanings that respondents ascribe to various phenomena and accordingly the research technique should aid the objective of building one’s own understanding. For the purpose of this research semi- structured interviews were selected as the appropriate data collection method as they allow for the use of a common list of questions and topics to be covered (aiding analysis and comparison) while at the same time enabling the interviewer to probe the views and opinions of the respondents (potentially providing greater meanings, understandings and new insights on the research question). The key topics covered in the primary research interviews were extracted from the key issues of this dissertation study. 3.4.2 Selection of Case Study Organisation According to Gibbs (2008) when employing the case study research strategy the sites or locations in which cases studies are to be conducted should be chosen with great care. After a careful assessment by the researcher of the Irish HEI sector (specifically the IoT sector) the researcher selected the Institute of Art Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire. Education Ireland stated that IADT is unique in Ireland. It is recognised as a leader in its chosen specialities and in its mission to become the leading Irish educator for the knowledge, media
  52. 40 and entertainment sectors (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 2010).

    It is committed to contributing to Ireland’s development as a creative knowledge economy (IADT President 2008). A key criterion for selection was an IoT that is evidently committed to the engagement objective of the Hunt Report. Documents referenced in the literature review provide evidence of IADT’s desire to engage effectively with enterprise. Furthermore it is noted that the current strategic plan of IADT (IADT President 2008) includes many of the aspirations contained in the Hunt HEI Model. A final criterion is that IADT is one of the smallest IoTs in Ireland and as such the case study method with relatively small interview samples has the potential to provide relevant, informed insights on the research question. 3.4.3 Selecting the Sample Populations at the Case Study Institute for Interview Three key populations were identified in the literature review as being necessary in order to answer the research question. The reason the IADT Staff, Business Owning Alumni and Incubation Centre enterprises population groups were selected from the complete ecosystem is that those groups would normally be expected to have an engaged relationship with IADT and would therefore be in a position to provide the most informed data. The detailed justifications for the selection of the sample groups are as follow: The IADT Staff group was selected as a sample population because academic staff (particularly those in senior roles) play a key role in creating the culture of the organisation and deciding operational objectives. The sample also includes the incubator manager who has a particularly important role in enterprise engagement through organising student placement schemes with the college; organising enterprise seminars for under-graduates, post-graduates and staff; and identifying and locating staff to work with the companies. The academic and management staff are also the key conduit to the Business Owning Alumni of the host institution. According to Enterprise Ireland (2005) Business Owning Alumni provide considerable potential for relationships and a source of potential customers, investors, advisers, and joint venture partners. Therefore this group are suitable to provide primary data in respect of the research question. The Business Owning Alumni group were selected as a sample population because the objectives of IADT in respect of its alumni is to engage and communicate more effectively with past students to enable them to appreciate and participate in the life of IADT (IADT
  53. 41 President 2008).An examination of the IADT Graduate Survey (IADT

    Careers Advisory Service 2009) shows many IADT Business Owning Alumni occupy key positions in organisations in industries relevant to the discipline areas of IADT. The School of Creative Technologies (2010) carries out an annual destination survey of its graduates. This survey finds that a high proportion of students starting their own companies set up ventures in the Media Cube. Therefore this group are suitable to provide primary data in respect of the research question. Their attitudes are assessed strictly in relation to their business relationship with IADT not their “alma mater” relationship with their former educator. The Incubator group were selected as a sample population because according to Enterprise Ireland (2005) incubation centres and their occupants form a key part of their strategy for regional development and entrepreneurship and as a result physical facilities were built on all HEI campus’ and fitted to a high specification. IADT’s incubation centre is called the Media Cube and is specifically focused on supporting Digital Media companies. It is located on the IADT campus, thirty metres from the main entrance to the academic buildings. The relationship between the host institution and the occupants of the incubation centre is essential for the success of campus-based incubation. Therefore this group are suitable to provide primary data in respect of the research question. This group are in a close physical relationship with IADT given that they occupy offices rented to them by the IADT incubation centre however the attitudes of this group are assessed from the point of view of their engagement with the host institution of IADT not their relationship with the Media Cube.
  54. 42 Figure 4: Components of an Innovation & Knowledge Ecosystem

    model illustrating the multiple stakeholders involved in the HEI ecosystem (Costello Unpublished 2011 p.5). The details of the individuals comprising the sample respondent groups are shown in Table 1. In order to ensure anonymity the names of interviewees were coded against numbers and numbered responses.
  55. 43 Table 1. Profile of interview respondents 3.4.4 Selecting Interview

    Respondents for this Study It is felt that twelve in-depth interviews are appropriately representative of the populations comprising this case study (particularly in light of the strategy for selecting representative interview respondents). As the researcher was limited in terms of the time available in which to conduct this study he sought to mitigate this by ensuring that the respondents selected were opinion leaders, decision makers and key informants in the populations selected for study. As such he sought to ensure that the participant selection provided a high possibility of informed, representative data. The minimum requisite criteria for selecting the individual interview respondents for the IADT Staff population was that the participant have executive decision-making responsibility Population Company size Characteristics of interviewees Code Assigned 4 Academic(Heads of School)/Management staff Not relevant Senior career positions in IADT, age group 50-65, sex: 3 male, 1 female Participant 1 - 4 4 Business Owning Alumni that are managers of enterprises in the digital media sector 5-1,000 staff Owner/Managers of own business or senior management in multi-national, graduated within the past 15 years, age group: 30-45, sex: 3 male, 1 female Participant 5-8 4 Incubator 2-20 staff Owner managers that established their business in the past 5 years and have been resident at incubation centre at least 1 year, age group: 25-40, sex: 2 male, 2 female Participant 9-12 2 policy experts on higher education, one of which is employed by the HEA, the second by the IoTi. Not relevant Not relevant Participant 13,14
  56. 44 in respect of enterprise engagement and should have first

    hand direct experience of same. Therefore all three heads of school at IADT and the Manager of the Incubation Centre were selected to represent this population. The minimum requisite criteria for selecting the individual interview respondents to represent the Business Owning Alumni was that the potential participant should be actively managing/own an enterprise or be a senior manager in a multinational with research/recruitment decision-making responsibilities in an area related to the activities of IADT (digital media or animation). The list of candidates for the selection process was compiled from a list supplied to the researcher by the Careers Office at IADT. This was supplemented by research on LinkedIn (an online business networking tool that enables searches through its database by defined criteria (i.e. for example IADT graduate)). In this population purposive or judgmental sampling was employed whereby the researcher used his judgement to select cases that best enabled him to answer his research questions and meet his research objectives. According to Saunders et al (2009) this form of sampling is often used when working with very small samples such as in case study research. In order to provide a representative sample the researcher ensured that the primary degree completed by each invited participant was as diverse within the sample. The minimum requisite criteria for selecting the interview respondents for the Incubation Centre group were that in an area related to the activities of IADT (digital media or animation), a minimum of one year should have been spent at the centre (in order to increase the likelihood that they had adequate opportunities to engage with IADT). A list of the current occupants of the incubation centre was requested from IADT and those occupants who fitted the above criteria were selected. The current occupancy of the incubation centre is approximately twenty-five companies therefore the four interviews conducted comprise sixteen per cent of the total population. In respect of the Incubators the placing of questions and analysis of data was from the perspective of excluding the fact of their occupation of the Media Cube. While the use of rental facilities at the IADT incubation centre indicates an automatic degree of enterprise engagement with IADT the centre is effectively managed at arm’s length and also the purpose of this study is to examine their engagement in vivo with IADT itself as distinct from their engagement with the Media Cube. Consequently, when asked to describe their
  57. 45 engagement with IADT, for example, the interviewees were advised

    not to refer to rental of space at the Media Cube as a qualifying engagement. 3.4.5 Research Technique – Interview Strategy Adopted for the Research In terms of organising the interviews each interviewee was contacted directly by email and in the email the scope and objective of the research was outlined in detail. Within three days of sending an email, each potential interviewee was telephoned to arrange a meeting at a venue suitable to them. All interviewees were guaranteed confidentiality and were told that the interviews would not be taped so as to allow a freer flow of conversation. The interview themes were supplied with the invitation in order to provide time for the participant to consider their replies. The questions asked were designed to probe and gain a better understanding of the research objectives. Each interviewee was contacted again by email one week in advance of the interview date in order to re-confirm the interview time and date. Preparation in advance of each interview included the following: 1. In order to gain engagement the researcher conducted research in to the potential interviewee’s organisation and personal background using Linkedin. This level of relevant knowledge was then embedded into the interview invitation. 2. Credibility was increased by the provision of a letter of recommendation from the President of IADT (see Appendix 5) and through the supply of relevant information to respondents before the interview. 3. A location that was suitable to the interviewee was agreed in order to make the interviewee feel at ease and more likely to develop themes. Due to the illness of one of the interviewees one face-to-face interview had to be cancelled and rescheduled to a telephone interview. Five of the total interviews took place over the telephone; the remaining nine were conducted face-to-face. Each face-to-face interview took approximately one-to-one and a half hours to complete whereas the telephone interviews were of shorter duration due to the less ‘flowing; nature of the medium. The questions used in the semi-structured interviews were open-ended, standard, free responding questions where people answered in their own words. The questions were designed according to the researcher’s needs and in order to frame important issues and aid conversation.
  58. 46 The answers given to the questions were handwritten during

    the interview by the researcher and where relevant read out to the interviewee to make sure of the correct interpretation. Interviewees were allowed plenty of time to respond to questions and when they expressed doubts or hesitated they were probed to deepen their thinking and to solicit further insights or experiences. In a number of cases further questions were used to probe the opinions of the respondents. All responses made were listened to carefully and any points that were not clear were followed up on. The researcher sought to establish an informal relaxed atmosphere during each interview. Detailed notes and summaries of keys points were taken during the interviews and all interviewees indicated they were satisfied that the contents were an accurate record of the interview. The interviews took place in the personal offices of the respondents (apart from the five interviews that took place over the phone). 3.4.6 Secondary Research Methods Employed in this Study For the purpose of this study considerable time was spent on sourcing information relating to the research question. Sources included books, journals, the internet, case studies, business reports and government policy documents. IADT was requested to supply all relevant reports and documents and a significant volume of same were forthcoming on the basis of a non- disclosure agreement. The researcher was obliged to seek specific permission for any secondary data provided by IADT that he wished to reference in this study. This information was accumulated over a period of six months. Although an extensive list of information was reviewed, only the most relevant literature was referenced in the final draft of this dissertation. One of the most important secondary sources used for this study was the National Strategy for Higher Education (Hunt 2011). The examination of the research questions was framed by its recommendations and statements of intent in respect of HEIs and helped to shape the design of the primary research tools and also aided in the author’s overall analysis of the findings of the research. The interviews which provided the primary data for this study took place between the months of May and September 2011. In respect of the IADT staff a practical difficulty encountered
  59. 47 due to the contractual arrangements of staff members (whereby

    key staff were unavailable for interview from June 20th until late in the month of August and did not respond to interview requests during that period despite the provision of a letter from the President of IADT). In respect of the Alumni and the Incubation Centre enterprises these interviews took place at varied intervals during the above time period. 3.5 Research Analysis As noted by Yin (1994) in order to devise a theoretical or descriptive framework one needs to identify the main variables, components, themes and issues in the research project and the predicted relationships between them. This has the advantage of linking the research with an initial analytical framework. Therefore a detailed descriptive framework was identified in the literature review in order to provide an analytical framework for the fieldwork of this dissertation. Saunders et al (2009) state that no standard procedure for analysing qualitative data exists per se. According to Denscombe (2007, p.287) “(Analysis of) qualitative data is based on the logic of discovering things from the data, of generating theories on the basis of what the data contains, and from moving from particular features of the data towards the more generalised conclusions.” Wisker (2001) states that findings need to be derived from the analysis of the data collected from the research through a two stage process of managing the data (reducing its size and scope in a manner consistent with the research question so that one can report on the data usefully) and secondly analysing the managed data (asking the data analytical questions, using it to back up the arguments and indications they seem to present). Walliman and Buckler (2008) refer to the second stage as data display and add a third stage which is concerned with the drawing of conclusions and arriving at verification. 3.5.1 Coding of Interview Transcripts In terms of analysing qualitative data Wisker (2001) states that the process of managing qualitative, semi-structured interview data requires the coding of this data, that is coding in relation to the kinds of answers, themes and issues and categories of responses received. According to Gibbs (2008) coding is the process of examining the data for themes and categories and then marking similar passages with a code label so that they can be retrieved at
  60. 48 a later stage for further comparison and analysis. According

    to Lofland (1971) codes can be based on acts, activities, meanings, themes, topics, ideas, concepts, terms, phrases and keywords found in the data. Usually it is passages of text or phrases that are coded however codes may also be applied to individual words. The identification of categories or themes is normally guided by the specific purpose of the research. In terms of categorisation Strauss and Corbin (2008) suggest that there are three main sources to derive names for these categories: • One utilises terms that emerge from one’s data; • They are based on actual descriptive terms used by the respondents (“in vivo” or descriptive codes); or • They are derived from terms used in existing theory and the literature. In the case of this study the categories or themes were identified in the literature review as were the analytic codes. In the analysis phase the descriptive codes in the full interview transcripts were then assembled into the most appropriate theme. However some themes also emerged from the freedom the participant had to talk about enterprise engagement in a semi- structured interview format. These were added to the coding analysis framework in an iterative process. According to Creswell (2006) coding is only a first step in the analysis. The researcher must add his/her interpretation and relate general theoretical ideas to the text. The coding frameworks employed in this study are contained in Appendices 6, 7, 8 and 9. They were compiled through extracting from the literature review the key themes and analytic framework, the analysis of interview transcripts then sought to move from a descriptive approach to an analytical approach through assessing the appropriate fit for descriptive terms in the transcripts with the framework. Using this framework all of the transcripts were analysed closely. Tables were used in this study to summarise a substantial amount of the data which are displayed in Appendices 6, 7, 8 and 9 grouped under categories/themes.
  61. 49 The method used to compile the data into each

    table was as follows: 1. All descriptive coded data was analysed initially within each sub-theme on the basis of simple averages for each descriptive code identified thus yielding the most commonly cited descriptive code within each sub-theme. 2. Further analytic codes and themes emerged from the interview data and were incorporated in an iterative process. 3. Where relevant each sub-theme was then ordered on the frequency of the appearance of the relevant descriptive codes in the data. The researcher then examined the coded data for trends, patterns and themes in the tabulated data. The caveat of Saunders et al (2009) was noted when embarking on this state, by rigorously testing ones propositions against the data, looking for alternative explanations and seeking to explain why negative cases occur one may be able to move towards the development of valid and well grounded conclusions. 3.6 Limitations There are a number of limitations typically identified in respect of qualitative research data. According to Gibbs (2008) the research philosophy which informs the researcher’s approaches to the phenomenon, the strategies that the researcher uses to collect or construct data and the understandings that the researcher has about what might count as relevant or important data in answering the research question are all analytic processes that influence the analysis of the research data. Specific limitations in respect of this study include: 1. The interview schedule was completed under some time pressure. Negotiations with the new President of IADT in respect of finalising the contents of the Letter of Introduction and Memorandum of Understanding were prolonged into June. Once completed the President emailed all relevant staff encouraging their participation. However as of the twentieth of June academic staff are no longer required to respond to non-official matters. Therefore the summer period was not an optimal time for a case study involving an academic institution and when engagement was ultimately achieved the respondents stated they were under time pressure with the new academic year commencing. The Alumni and Incubator respondents were equally under
  62. 50 commercial pressure and could not commit for more than

    an hour and a half of their time. 2. This study was carried out with the sole, limited resources of the individual researcher. This presented a number of limitations including the requirement to fit paid employment in around the research required for the study. 3. The interview transcriptions sought to capture all words spoken however the researcher concedes that this was not possible in every circumstance. In respect of the limitations associated with case study research Wisker (2001) notes that one cannot easily generalise from one case study to another and as a result multiple cases are preferable. If, however, it is a single case study then the case needs to be contextualised and carefully described and then others can consider its usefulness in other contexts and examples. Furthermore the limitations of this case study research strategy include the fact that it focused on one industry sector (digital media and animation), had a limited sample size from a limited geographical area and was limited to one academic institution. There are also limitations in respect of the exclusive focus on the enterprise engagement objective of the Hunt Report. The report is a broad, all-encompassing strategy which seeks a variety of objectives such as a higher degree of evolution by HEIs in terms of diversity of funding sources through an enterprising approach, prioritisation of strategic objectives, amalgamation, introduction of metrics, a systems approach in order to achieve the objectives of the report and to align higher institutes activities with national priorities, open engagement with the community and wider society. It contains a number of important statements of intent in respect of these multiple objectives. However this research study is limited to a single strand of the entire strategy. 3.6.1 Validity and Reliability of the Research According to Maylor and Blackmon (2005) validity defines how accurately the research was conducted while reliability means that the findings are capable of being repeated and are not the result of unique circumstance. Gibbs (2008) states that it can be argued that the “validity” of a piece of research is a matter of whether it is a reasonable account of what has been observed.
  63. 51 In the case of the semi-structured interviews carried out

    in this study, the issue of validity was addressed by ensuring that the question content concentrated on the research objectives. To ensure the validity of the data the researcher used interview techniques that build rapport and trust, interviewees were prompted to illustrate and expand their initial responses, the interview process was long enough for the subject to be explored in depth. The researcher sought to compare the results of the qualitative analysis with the literature and with the model being tested. This triangulation of multiple sources of evidence conforms to Yin’s (1994) construct validity test. In terms of ensuring reliability the researcher has taken steps towards ensuring his research is transparent (studiously recording when and where the interviews took place etc). Furthermore the criterion for selection of interview candidates is also clearly and transparently stated. In respect of researcher bias Gibbs (2008) states that the researcher is an essential component of the research instrument and as result he states it is difficult to claim that the results are reliable and unbiased. An accepted way of improving the integrity of the results is to give an explicit account of the research procedures which should include a detailed description of the methods and analysis. This is referred to as an ‘audit trail’. Denscombe (2007, p.298) writes 'the principal behind the audit trail is that the research procedures and decision-making could be checked by other researchers who would be in a position to confirm the existence of data and evaluate decisions made in relation to the data collection and analysis.' In order to minimise potential researcher bias when conducting the interviews the researcher sought to ensure that his own beliefs or frame of reference were not imposed on the interviewees. Imposing any bias in the way that responses were interpreted was also avoided (Easterby-Smith et al 2008). In respect of the interpretation of the information the researcher took full cognisance of the caveat given by Saunders et al (2009) concerning the danger of logic leaps and false assumptions when moving “from a mountain of data to arriving at conclusions”. This study posed no ethical issues. All respondents consented to be interviewed voluntarily and were satisfied that their responses could be identified with their group on condition that they were guaranteed anonymity. All respondent names have been coded to ensure the confidentiality of the data. When contacting each of the intended respondents the researcher broadly explained the objective of my research in order that they understand the implications
  64. 52 of participating in the study. No psychological stress was

    envisaged by participating in the research nor were any vulnerable groups to be interviewed. 3.7 Conclusion This chapter described and justified the research methodology, research procedure and research analysis employed in this study. It addressed the limitations of the study, ethical issues and the steps taken to ensure the validity and reliability of the study. The objective of this chapter was to enable the reader to better understand and critically assess the choices and assumptions that the researcher has made in conducting this study. The next chapter of this study will present the data analysis. It presents the data gathered and will seek to identify patterns or themes that arise directly from the coded data. The chapter then describes in detail the main findings of the research and presents an analysis of each.
  65. 53 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS 4.1 Introduction The previous

    chapter described and justified the research methodology, research procedure and research analysis employed in this study. It addressed the limitations of the study, ethical issues and the steps taken to ensure the validity and reliability of the study. The objective of the chapter was to enable the reader to better understand and critically assess the choices and assumptions that the researcher made in conducting this study. The objective of Chapter 4 is to explain the method of analysis and present the profile of the respondents. The chapter presents the aim of the research, the method of data collection employed to answer the research question, the method of analysis and finally the findings from this analysis in respect of the research questions that this study sought to address. An analysis of each of the findings is presented. The aim of this research is to use an exploratory case study to evaluate whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at the the case study institution. ‘Effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as genuine collaborative activities occurring within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. The case study institution was the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire. 4.2 Analysis Explained The objective of this chapter is to establish and address the relevant findings that have emerged from the in-depth interviews conducted by the researcher. All the interviews were recorded by hand during the interview and subsequently transcribed. The data gathered was then flagged with descriptive codes for analytical purposes. The analytic codes and themes applied in the analysis were extracted from the research conducted in the literature review and are contained in Appendices 6, 7, 8 and 9. However further analytic codes and themes emerged from the interview data and were incorporated into the analysis framework in an iterative process. The findings presented in this chapter will seek to address the aim of this research study.
  66. 54 There are a number of stages required to analyse

    qualitative interview data. According to Saunders et al (2009) stage one involves ensuring all the appropriate data is collected and coded. The approach used in this study involved using the theories and models addressed in the literature review to identify themes and analytic codes for the analysis framework. The researcher then examined the interview transcripts for the use of descriptive terms that were relevant to the analytic codes. In order to examine the data for comparison with the themes identified in the literature review a set of tabular data displays were compiled for each of the objectives (see Appendices 6, 7, 8 and 9). Each contains the descriptive codes identified and transcribed from the interviews. Stage two involves integrating all aspects of analysis, working back and forth between data and building upon the themes identified. The key findings that emerged from the above process will be presented under each of the key issues and subsequently linked to the relevant literature in order to compare and contrast results. Unabridged versions of the interview transcripts are not presented however a sample of a coded interview transcript can be found in Appendix 4. A sample interview invitation is contained in Appendix 3. Specific participant comments from the interview transcripts are presented with each Objective in order to provide further insight on the subject of the individual theme or sub-theme. The identity of respondents is coded in order to preserve anonymity but the respondents did agree that their responses could be identified with those of the relevant sample population. 4.3 Profile of the Respondents Three relevant populations were selected from the ecosystem model of Costello (2011), namely Academic/Management Staff, Business Owning Alumni and occupants of the IADT Incubation Centre (Incubators). Detailed justification of the selection of these populations is contained in Chapter 3. In respect of the IADT Staff population they were represented by the three heads of school at IADT and the manager of the IADT incubation centre. All hold senior career positions within IADT, are in the age group 50-65, sex: 3 male, 1 female. The Business Owning Alumni sample comprised four respondents that own their own business in the digital media sector or are senior management in a relevant multi-national selected by purposive sampling, had graduated within the past 15 years, age group: 30-45, sex: 3 male, 1 female. The Incubator population comprised four respondents drawn from current tenants of
  67. 55 the incubation centre at IADT, are owner managers that

    established their digital media business in the past 5 years, age group: 25-40, sex: 2 male, 2 female. In order to gain additional insight on policy aspects of the Hunt Report and that of the Irish Higher Education Authority two relevant education policy experts were interviewed using un-structured interviews. The following sections now present the findings and analysis of the research conducted in this study. 4.4 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question 1 - Is there evidence for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? The objective of this question is to identify whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring within the respondents. The test for the presence of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is formulated in Section 2.3.2. This test is to be applied in progression as follows: 1. Does an ‘effective network’ exist: This is characterised by regular and intense interaction as opposed to one off transactional engagements. The goal of this test is to establish if the relationship is embedded within the enterprise activities of the participants. 2. Is ‘actual collaboration’ taking place within the ‘effective network’? This is characterised by equal intensity of engagement across all categories of engagement. The goal of this test is to establish whether any embeddedness identified is broad enough to constitute genuine engagement. 3. Is ‘symbiotic engagement’ evident in the ‘actual collaborations’? The goal of this test is to establish whether collaborative innovation, training and professional development is occurring in a manner that creates equal revenue and benefits to all parties. The purpose of this test is to identify conditions for increases of transivity and homophilly creating the conditions for growing the ‘effective network’. This in turn provides the potential for a virtuous circle developing, the greater the ‘effective network’ the greater the opportunities for creating ‘actual collaboration’.
  68. 56 For the purposes of this study ‘effective enterprise engagement’

    is defined as genuinely collaborative activities within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. The open-ended question put to interviewees for this Objective was “Please outline engagements between IADT and enterprise that take place in your personal or your organisation's direct experience”. A common probing question was “Please describe the specific nature of exchanges taking place within these engagements?” 4.4.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 1 The sub-themes identified in the literature review include the following: 1. Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks (‘Networking’). 2. Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth (‘Growth Resources’). 3. Innovation collaboration (‘Professional Collaborative Services’) with partners with characteristics of low transaction costs - these costs may take the form of learning curves, form filling, misunderstandings due to lack of professional language commonalities. The themes and analytic codes used in this section were extracted from the literature review and used to compile the tables located in Appendix 6 containing the coding analysis framework and the content analysis of interview transcripts. Coding analysis in respect of Analytic Codes is only referenced in the findings where it provides additional insight. 4.4.2 Content Analysis The results of the analysis of data relating to this theme were as follows: • ‘Networking’ emerged as the most commonly cited sub-theme across the three populations with descriptive codes from this sub-theme being cited on average 45% across all the relevant engagements. • The next most commonly cited sub-theme was ‘Growth Resources’ with an average of 26% citation for descriptive codes across the sub-themes engagements.
  69. 57 • The sub-theme with the lowest citations in the

    data was ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ with an average of 24% citation across the sub-themes. When one applies the ‘effective network’ test regular and intense interaction occurs in the tabulated data in certain activities. Therefore one can say that IADT is part of the ‘effective network’ of at least 45% of the Incubators and Alumni in respect of their enterprises. When one applies the ‘actual collaboration’ test (equal levels of engagement across all categories of enterprise engagement) equal participation across the three categories of enterprise engagement is not observed in the Incubator and Alumni populations. Therefore it is concluded that ‘actual collaboration’ is not occurring within the sample population. When the symbiosis test is applied (collaborative innovation and training is occurring that creates equal revenue and benefits to both parties) the categories of enterprise engagement with the highest citations (‘Networking’ and ‘Growth Resources’) are found not to be symbiotic in the sense that while they may meet some of the innovation-development needs of SMEs they do not simultaneously generate diversified revenue streams for IADT. Therefore the data suggests that IADT fails the tests for ‘actual collaboration’ and ‘symbiotic engagements’ therefore it is concluded that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring within the sample respondents. Each sub-theme for Research Question 1 will now be addressed in the order in which they were most frequently cited by the respondents. 4.4.2.1 Networking Within ‘Networking’ the individual engagement most cited across the three populations was ‘Guest Lecture’ while the least cited was ‘Mentoring of Students’. The order of frequency of the descriptive codes which emerged from the were ‘Guest lecture’ (66%), ‘Student Showcase’ (58%), ‘Course design’*(42%) ‘Interview Panel’ (33%) and ‘Mentoring of Students’* (25%). All sample populations cited good evidence of networking type activities from the annual ‘Student Showcase’ (e.g. “The graduate showcase is a key way for me to keep in contact and keeping in touch for my business with the talent coming through.” Business Owning Alumni) to ‘Guest Lectures’ (e.g. “Each programme has a budget for visiting guest speakers, 2-3 people per programme” IADT Staff). Examples of externally focused engagements were cited by IADT Staff respondents (e.g. “Our students are very involved in external
  70. 58 organisations through the Dragon’s Den competition that the students

    organise each year. The competition is aligned with the County Enterprise Week and the Enterprise Board”). Within the Business Owning Alumni population certain interactions identified in the literature review were high. 50% had been invited to speak as guest lecturers. All the respondents that have participated in this type of exchange agreed that they found that the exchange was beneficial. 50% indicate that they attend the annual ‘Student Showcase’ to network and spot talented students. Plice and Reinig (2009) found recent alumni to be a key source of relevant information for informing curriculum assessment and this appears to be the case at IADT where a number of Business Owning Alumni had been included in course design committees. One Alumni respondent cited involvement in course design (e.g. “I was asked by IADT for input in the interactive media degree and the Masters program. IADT valued my opinion as I work for a multinational e-learning business, thanks to my input a strategy of online distribution of the relevant course was adopted by IADT“). In respect of the incubation centre IADT School of Creative Arts’ programmatic review (2009) noted that ways of improving relations “between the School and the Cube include Internships for students, and companies based in the Media Cube giving seminars to students.” There is evidence in the data of a level of interaction in the data that conforms to this description (e.g. “I have done a number of guest talks to students and some students worked on a project for our business.” Incubator). These findings suggest a good base exists for IADT to grow their level of enterprise engagement in the future. In terms of contra indicators it is notable that for the IADT Staff population once-off transactional ‘Guest Lectures’ were cited as the most common form of enterprise engagement (thereby bringing relevant speakers in once to interact with students and colleagues). This form of interaction requires the least amount of effort and subsequent follow through on the part of both the organising staff member and the participant. Nor does it generate revenue for IADT. Therefore when assessed against the tests for symbiosis and the ‘effective network’ once-off transactional ‘Guest Lectures’ might be regarded as one of the least effective forms of enterprise engagement.
  71. 59 It is also of note that in respect of

    their current enterprise engagement practices the IADT Staff respondents predominantly cited engagement with industry organisations or conferences (e.g. according to the response of an IADT Staff respondent “Our school’s engagement with enterprise would include Conference participation and networking; participation in local industry groups – e.g. Chamber of Commerce; DLCEB; Charitable organisations; Industry panels; Research groups; publishers; academic networks.”) as opposed to genuine one-to- one engagement with specific companies. When the researcher contacted a number of such representative bodies cited in IADT’s Institutional Review (such as the Digital Media Forum and two other bodies) the relevant representative explained that it had been over three years since there had last been a collaborative programme or other actual collaborative initiative of any substantive nature with IADT. 4.4.2.2 Growth Resources Within ‘Assembling Resources’ the individual engagement most cited across the three populations was ‘Preferential Access to Recruiting Top Under-Graduates’ while the least cited was ‘Internships’. The order of frequency of the descriptive codes which emerged from the data were ‘Preferential Access to Recruiting Top Under-Graduates’ (66%), ‘Student Work Experience’ (42%), ‘Student Projects Carried out for Enterprise’ (42%), ‘Internships’ (33%), ‘Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise’ (0%),’Use of resources of lecture halls/meeting rooms in IADT’ (0%) and ‘Use of the Virtual Lab’ (0%). Engagements which are non-revenue generating ranked most highly with preferential access to IADT under-graduates emerging as the most cited engagement for both Business Owning Alumni and Incubation groups (e.g. “Our school has an interview panel that our enterprise contact sits on. One year he hired seven of our graduates at the student showcase.”IADT Staff respondent). It is clear from the interviews that opportunities for networking with current high performing students with a view to recruitment are important contributor to company success in the opinions of the interview respondents (particularly where talent can be identified “before the whole industry does” (Alumni)). Business Owning Alumni demonstrate a strong interest in an IADT work placement/internship program, they confirm the benefits that are the result of such an interaction (for example interview respondents noted new experiences and different point of views and interesting solutions to work problems that students suggested).
  72. 60 In terms of revenue generation the finding that there

    was a zero finding in respect of use of Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise, Use of Resources of Lecture Halls/Meeting Rooms in IADT or Use of the Virtual Lab amongst the interview respondents is of concern and suggests that ‘symbiotic engagement’ is not occurring. A common statement from a number of relevant respondents was “I use canteen but nothing else, I wasn’t aware of other resources.” It must be noted however that individual examples may be taking place in this category at IADT that might not have been within the knowledge of the IADT Staff interviewed. Therefore the researcher placed follow up questions with the financial controller at IADT. The response confirmed the above findings. In the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income (Media Cube Rentals, Football Pitch Rentals, Virtual Lab Rentals (minimal), Campus Rentals, Student Print System, Library Charges, Media Cube Sponsorship and Grants) accounted for 1.5% of the €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013(see Appendix 11). 4.4.2.3 Professional Collaborative Services Within ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ the individual engagement most cited across the three populations was ‘Innovation Voucher’ while the least cited was ‘Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training’. All engagements cited fell into the analytic code of ‘Professional Collaborative Services’. The order of frequency of the descriptive codes which emerged from the data was ‘Innovation Voucher’ (42%) and ‘Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training’ (8%). The Hunt Report is quite specific in where it expects HEIs to earn diversified earnings; these include research and innovation activities across the entire spectrum of innovation activities from basic through applied research to development, consulting activities through to Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training. Hunt states that institutions should reward their staff for participation in all of these. The data suggests very low levels of ‘Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training’ provision by IADT (e.g. “We provide training in the 3D animation software Maya to approximately 8 business staff per annum“ IADT Staff respondent).
  73. 61 All members of the IADT Staff cited activity in

    the area of Innovation Vouchers. A high level of activity in this area was also identified amongst the Incubator group (e.g. “We are currently engaged in an Innovation Voucher with the Creative Technologies School” Incubator). Amongst the Business Owning Alumni 50% had researched the Innovation Vouchers scheme with IADT but found the application process too complicated and/or inconclusive. The level of activity in respect of Innovation Vouchers is a positive finding. Innovation Vouchers were introduced by Enterprise Ireland (2008, p.1) “to build links between Ireland's public knowledge providers and small businesses and create a cultural shift in the small business community's approach to innovation. “ These vouchers are the most basic unit of collaborative engagement at the HEI-SME innovation interface therefore one would expect all IoTs to perform well in this category. However if one analyses IADT’s spread of Innovation Voucher activity by School an interesting pattern emerges. In proportion to the full time staff members the School of Creative Technologies handles the highest proportion of Innovation Vouchers. Looking at the figures for staff employed in relation to the number of vouchers handled (see Table 2) there may be a strong case for a considerable increase in this category of engagement. This finding is echoed in the IADT School of Creative Arts programmatic review (2009) which notes where the School aspiration was to further develop practice based research. Table 2. Current activity levels for Innovation Voucher activity at IADT - Source: Direct request by the researcher to IADT Development Office. In the past 18 months School of Creative Arts School of Business & Humanities School of Creative Technologies Totals for IADT Total number of Innovation Vouchers undertaken in past 18 months 8 1 14 23 Number of academic staff involved in these Innovation Vouchers 16 2 20 38 Core staffing numbers 70 30 31 133 Vouchers per core staff 0.1 .03 .45
  74. 62 When the researcher sought further insight on this one

    reply he received was “There is not much external demand for Innovation Voucher work with our school.” However on further examination the researcher found that those schools with lower Innovation Voucher activity had been reactive in waiting for such collaborative research work and not proactively promoting their capabilities in this area. This provides a potential explanation of the low figures. For example Business Owning Alumni respondents stated that they had never been proactively approached by IADT with a request to commission an Innovation Voucher with IADT, they had initiated the contact themselves. The finding of being reactive in respect of Innovation Voucher activity appears to be a common finding in the literature. “Most HEIs adopt a largely reactive strategy towards generating third stream opportunities.” (PACEC and the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge 2009). 4.4.3 Analysis and Conclusion The content analysis of the data in respect of Research Question 1 makes a number of important findings. In respect of enterprise engagement there is a finding that interactions approximating to Hunt’s (Page 12) “inward and outward flows of knowledge, staff, students and ideas” is currently occurring at IADT. There were many positive comments from respondents in respect of current engagements. The outcome of high levels of enterprise engagement is encouraging however once the findings are assessed against the tests for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ a different picture emerges from the data. The majority of the engagements identified in the data are transactional in nature and are biased towards ‘Networking’. It is clear that certain Alumni and Incubators regard IADT as part of their ‘effective network’ for very narrow needs. When one applies ‘actual collaboration’ test across the categories of engagement equal participation is not observed across the three categories of enterprise engagement (‘Networking’ 45% of cited engagements, ‘Assembling Resources’ 26% and ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ 24%). Therefore the data suggests that ‘actual collaboration’ is not occurring at IADT within the sample populations. When the ‘symbiotic engagement’ test is applied to the most frequently cited interactions (namely within ‘Networking’ the interaction of ‘Guest Lecture’ and ‘Assembling Resources’
  75. 63 the interaction of ‘Preferential Access’) at IADT they fail

    as, while beneficial to both parties, they are not generating simultaneous revenues for both. In terms of identifying the root cause of why ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not identified as occurring there are a range of potential reasons that present themselves in the data. ‘Networking’ (cited as the most common engagement by 45% of the entire sample) is concentrated particularly in once-off Guest Lectures (cited by 66% of the entire sample) which is an activity that requires the least amount of effort and subsequent follow through on the part of the organising staff member and the participant. As such it has a much lower potential to result in embedded relationships or indeed revenue for IADT. This finding suggests that IADT Staff may be engaging in those forms of enterprise engagement (such as invitations to celebrity speakers) that most suit their personal or teaching objectives. Furthermore current enterprise engagement practices identified in the responses of the IADT Staff members cite engagement with industry organisations and networks (e.g. “Chamber of Commerce; DLCEB; charitable organisations; industry panels; research groups; publishers; academic networks.”) as opposed to genuine one-to-one engagement with individual SMEs. Subsequent checking by the researcher found engagements with organisations cited by IADT Staff to be extremely shallow in certain cases and unlikely to create ‘actual collaboration’ at any point. The researcher requested a list of the SMEs IADT had the most intense relationship with however such a list was not forthcoming. This may be due to the fact that for the average academic industry organisations are easier to engage with but Hunt’s diversified revenue streams will arise from effective direct engagement with SMEs not industry organisations. Having identified the potential reasons for a lack of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ in the ‘Networking’ category when one examines the ‘Assembling Resources’ category of engagement further explanations present themselves. The most cited engagement here is ‘Preferential Access to Recruiting Top Under-Graduates’ which meets a very specific, narrow resource need for SMEs. Furthermore it is an activity which is not revenue generating in and of itself nor might it be regarded as meeting the broad growth needs of SME enterprise (i.e. resources beyond their immediate staffing needs).
  76. 64 In terms of triangulation of this finding (that ‘actual

    collaboration’ is not occurring at IADT) confirmation may be found in respect of a finding of zero in respect of use of ‘Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise’, ‘Use of Resources of Lecture Halls/Meeting Rooms in IADT’ or ‘Use of the Virtual Lab’. This is further corroborated in the fact that in the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013. Turning to the issue of symbiosis and diversified revenue streams the above finding is of concern. The consequences of a failure to engage in ‘actual collaboration’ may be seen in the very small contribution to IADT income from non-exchequer sources. In terms of diversified revenue from ‘Professional Collaborative Services‘the findings of activity levels in the area of Innovation Vouchers is positive. However the fulfillment of Innovation Voucher work is falling disproportionately on one school in IADT with one school processing 0.1 of a voucher per core staff member and another 0.03 of a voucher per core staff member. The very low level of through-put in Innovation Vouchers prevents those other schools developing an internal discipline in respect of the most basic building block of commercial research collaboration with knock-on implications for quality. If this level of volume is due to staff shortages and other internal priorities then it is open to question as to whether it is viable for IADT to develop collaborative research capabilities outside very narrow niches. Therefore at the end of Research Question 1, while the findings indicate good evidence of enterprise interactions, IADT does not pass the test of ‘effective enterprise engagement’, the ‘effective network‘ is currently restricted to ‘Networking’ and ‘Preferential Access’ activities. Furthermore the data suggests that symbiosis is not occurring in the engagements of the sample populations. Therefore ‘actual collaboration’ is not occurring within the respondents of this research, a finding corroborated by the fact that non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income in 2010. Furthermore the very low levels of interaction in key areas such as ‘Growth Resources’ and ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ suggest that that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents). However the findings suggest a good base exists for IADT to grow their level of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ in the future.
  77. 65 4.5 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question

    2 – Are there obstacles preventing ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT? The purpose of this question is to seek to identify whether obstacles to effective engagement exist at IADT and, if so, identify their specific nature. The open-ended question put to interviewees for this Objective was “Please outline any obstacles encountered in respect of IADT engagement with enterprise or reasons for a lower level of engagement than you require”. To draw out this issue a common probing question was “Please describe the specific nature of such obstacles”. 4.5.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 2 The sub-themes identified in the literature review in terms of obstacles to enterprise engagement include: 1. Culture gap 2. Disconnect 3. Misalignment 4. Collaborative commercial Research* 5. Competition or Restriction by Competitor* The themes and analytic codes used in this section were extracted from the literature review and used to compile the table containing the coding analysis framework and the table containing the content analysis of relevant interview responses located in Appendix 7. Coding analysis in terms of Analytic Codes is only referenced in the findings where it provides additional insight. *These sub-themes emerged during the iterative analysis of interview data and were incorporated in the analysis framework.
  78. 66 4.5.2 Content Analysis The results of the analysis of

    responses to this theme were that: • ‘Misalignment’ emerged as the most commonly cited sub-theme with descriptive codes from this sub-theme being cited on average 83% across all populations. • The next most commonly cited sub-theme was ‘Culture Gap’ with an average of 66% citation for descriptive codes across the sub-themes engagements followed by ‘Disconnect’ (42% citation for descriptive codes) and ‘Collaborative Commercial Research’ (34% citation for descriptive codes). • The sub-theme with the lowest citations was ‘Competition or Restriction by Competitor’ with an average of 25% citation across the sub-themes engagements. Expressing these findings in terms of analytic codes the descriptive codes within ‘Culture Obstacle’ appear on average 54% in relevant responses while ‘Operational Obstacles’ appears on average in 47% of relevant responses in the interview transcripts. Each sub-theme for Research Question 2 will now be addressed in the order in which they were most frequently cited in the interview transcripts. 4.5.1.1 Misalignment Within ‘Misalignment’ the descriptive code most cited across the three populations was ‘Academic Contracts’ while the least cited was ‘Physical Closeness to Academics’. Opinions expressed on the subject of misalignment ranged from the time taken to complete Innovation Vouchers (e.g. “I would be biased against collaboration with IADT as they have been far too slow and lacking any sense of commercialisation.” Alumni) to the relative importance that IADT appear to allocate internally to collaborative enterprise projects. Incubators and Business Owning Alumni expressed the sense that academics are not motivated to engage meaningfully with enterprise (e.g. “There is misalignment. The way contracts are there is nothing in the contracts for academics that they have to do this research work.” Incubator) while IADT Staff opinions suggested that that they are under too much time pressure and do not receive adequate recognition for work in this area (e.g. “You can talk about projects with staff but then the academics don’t have the time or reward to
  79. 67 participate in the project. It is difficult given the

    time pressures we are under.”IADT Staff and “IoTs don’t have an efficient system for commercial activity and academic staff don’t get credit for it, it’s almost frowned upon.” IADT Staff ). Such a finding in respect of IADT staff opinions is similar to that found in the literature. Martin and Turner (2010) state that in many HEIs internally collaboration may be actively discouraged while external links are simultaneously emphasised in institutional mission statements. The IADT School of Creative Technologies programmatic review (2010, p.6) states staff have “the burden of a heavy teaching load”. The review states that if research is to be an integral part of the Institute’s mission, the Panel recommends that management look at new ways to release staff in order that they may develop their research aspirations. A contra opinion is that IADT academic staff may be well paid for their non-enterprise activities and as a result are not inclined to engage (e.g. “Participation in consultancy or Innovation Vouchers is driven by what the staff member is motivated by. Even though there are financial rewards including equipment or payroll, they are well paid for their non-Innovation Voucher activities so the incentives are not sufficient for them in most cases. “IADT Staff). In respect of the most cited obstacle within this sub-theme the Hunt Report makes specific reference to the type of misalignment identified in this study’s interviews. It states that the current employment contracts for academic staff must be reviewed with a view to recognising academics’ professional standing and requiring comparable levels of accountability to those in place in the wider public and private sectors. There is somewhat of a paradox in the matter of academic staff motivations arising from the interview responses. A recent study of academics motivations’ (Houston et al 2006) finds that rather than salary, the motivators that are mentioned by staff are far more likely to be expressions of appreciation by one’s students and the recognition of colleagues. In contrast the academic respondents in this study refer to the requirement for rewards specifically in the context of their employment contracts. On the other hand it is likely that the IADT Staff interviewees have a valid point of view on this matter. Johnston et al (2010) find that social processes are often under-explored but essential in collaborative HEI-enterprise settings. They find that building trust in relationships through mutual understanding takes time and effort and as such should be rewarded. Bayissa and Zewdie (2010) find that many universities are rethinking their reward strategies to better
  80. 68 align them with the new commercial realities in order

    to improve teaching staff motivation and retention. A number of Incubator and Alumni respondents referred to misalignment between teaching and the requirements of enterprise (e.g. “We found an unsuitable quality of interns that we were offered – there is poor alignment with enterprise requirements in the grads that IADT produces, it’s probably down to the fact that lecturers in colleges are bad at getting outside college walls.” Alumni and “IADT can’t keep up, the speed of my industry is huge, gaming has gone from console to social very quickly. HEIs are too theoretical.” Alumni). In examining more closely the nature of the occupants of the Incubation Centre a degree of misalignment emerges. The Media Cube stated specialisation is “Digital Media” however it can be argued that this is not a specialisation, digital media per se is not a specialisation, but an entire industry. As a result of a generalised recruitment policy for the IADT Incubation Centre the interview data suggests a lack of alignment between the nature of the businesses of many of the current occupants and IADT's core teaching strengths (e.g.” My company needs skill sets that are not taught at IADT, what my company does is not really aligned with what’s taught at IADT so there are limited prospects for us using students or interns or Innovation Vouchers with IADT” Incubator , “The deciding factor for me in deciding where to allocate my Innovation Voucher is who has done research on the area that is relevant to them. IADT doesn’t have the relevant research expertise in its academic staff.” Incubator). As noted in the literature review desirable characteristics of the relationship between IADT and the Media Cube would be homophilly and transivity. Neither appears to be evident in the data. 4.5.1.2 Culture Gap Within ‘Culture Gap’ the individual obstacle most cited in the descriptive codes across the three sample populations was ‘Lack of Trust’ while the least cited was ‘Holidays’. There are arguments at both ends of the spectrum appearing in the data concerning this sub- theme. The sense from a number of the Incubator respondents is that IADT academics are not as available as they should be (e.g. “A lot of people in HEIs run shy of real business engagement because academics want to be sure what time they will get home at.” Alumni) but at the same time there is the impression amongst IADT Staff that SMEs are not organised in their research needs, are over-demanding with unrealistic expectations and as such can be
  81. 69 difficult to engage with (e.g. “We are looking at

    SMEs to give us our future and there is an argument that IoTs are not as available as they should be but at the same time there is the SME that is not organised in its research needs. SMEs don’t know what they don’t know. “IADT Staff). There is a degree of frustration expressed on the IADT Staff side for what they perceive of a problem at IADT with low enterprise engagement (e.g. “Credibility is the problem for IoTs, the sector don’t yet have credibility in industry.” IADT Staff) and on the enterprise respondents’ side (e.g. “It is unsustainable for academics to have such long holidays. The Teachers Union of Ireland is the main union and sees third level as an extension of the second level and their holidays are secondary school based. How can you collaborate when they are on holidays so much?” Alumni). The result appears to be a relatively low level of trust between the IADT Staff and the Incubator and Business Owning Alumni groups in respect of collaborative enterprise projects (e.g. “The reason I would not collaborate on mission critical projects is because I have a lack of trust they can be commercial enough or that they have commercial awareness.” Incubator). Furthermore the interviews appear to suggest that at present there is an absence of IADT staff in key positions who can understand not only the requirements of enterprise but also how the academic capabilities within the HEI can help the enterprise partners (e.g. “They need business men in running the incubation centre. Each of the colleges needs a commercial entrepreneurial person to drive it.” Alumni). This finding has much in common with the findings of a study in the UK which evaluated the effectiveness and role of HEFCE third stream funding activities in UK HEIs (PACEC and the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge 2009). Further evidence of a culture gap emerged when during the interviews the respondents were asked to outline the benefits they would require to increase their level of engagement (IADT Staff were asked to answer what they believed the motivations of Incubators and Alumni might be). IADT Staff predominantly cited altruistic, non commercial benefits (“affection for the college”, “revisit tutors”, “give something back” and “sharing ideas”). Incubators and Business Owning Alumni, while acknowledging altruistic reasons, were specific in the distinct benefits necessary to their businesses (“first pick of the graduates”,” having an “in”
  82. 70 is a competitive advantage”, “Treat us as paid consultants”

    and “potential opportunities for my business”).
  83. 71 4.5.1.3 Disconnect Within the area of ‘Disconnect’ the individual

    obstacle most cited across the three populations was ‘Strategic’ while the least cited was ‘Civil Service Mentality’. A number of the themes from the literature review are identified in the responses within this sub-theme. Research carried out by Pera (2009) found that the concerns of businesses about the disconnected time scales of universities had more than doubled between 2004 and 2008. De Jong, et al (2008) also identifies the same disconnect issue in noting that ‘barriers between business and universities are rising as businesses are frustrated with university bureaucracy. “ Bayissa and Zewdie (2010) find that academic staff identifies inefficient administration as a major obstacle to their work. A number of strategic failings at IADT emerge in this sub-theme. There is a failure to leverage the asset that Business Owning Alumni represent (e.g. “I have never been approached by IADT offering the services of their consultancy or research offerings, they are not thinking strategically” Alumni). There appears to be a failure to regard the Media Cube occupants as an asset to IADT (e.g. “The physical resources of the Media Cube are great but that’s it. IADT is not looking at Cube companies as a strategic resource. ” Incubator). According to one of the IADT Staff respondents the institute needs more strategic leadership (e.g. “We would need to be strategic in our approach to increasing engagement, we would need to decide what we are going to do and how. This would then need to be distilled into SMART goals and monitored by the President to ensure that the IADT culture changes effectively“). The Virtual Lab (VLAB), funded by Enterprise Ireland, was singled out for mention as a high value asset which had no alignment with the resource needs of SMEs (e.g. “IADT spent a lot of tax-payers money on a Virtual Lab Cave system but no-one in enterprise needs it, certainly not in the Media Cube. There seems to be an absence of joined up thinking.” Incubator). IADT received R&D infrastructure funding of €560,000 in 2008 from Enterprise Ireland to develop an immersive virtual reality system. The virtual lab system, entitled CAVE (Computer-generated Automatic Virtual Environment), immerses users in ambionic sounds and high-end 3D graphic environments projected on four walls.
  84. 72 This would appear to indicate a degree of disconnect

    between what the academic staff pursued as desirable equipment/technology for their research purposes/student teaching and what had the potential to be provided on a commercial basis to relevant SMEs to help them in their business while generating revenue for IADT. A key finding within this theme were the contrasting Incubator attitudes to the Incubation Centre itself as against to the host institution IADT. All Incubators reported good interaction with other Media Cube occupants but poor linkages to IADT in the majority of cases. A number of Incubator respondents referred to an excellent collaborative atmosphere within the Media Cube (e.g. “Overall a positive experience being in the Media Cube, I would recommend it to any friends starting a business.” Incubator, “My business did work for other companies in the Media Cube when we were located there. It helped us get off the ground. “ Incubator). These opinions are confirmed in that the Media Cube is seen widely as a good facility but largely in isolation to IADT. However in respect of the relationship with the host institution Incubator respondents refer to a “chasm” between the Media Cube occupants and IADT (e.g. “There are coffee mornings once a month upstairs which are great for networking, academics from IADT don’t come though. There is a chasm between those in the incubation centre and the academic staff at IADT. The incubation centre manager is frustrated himself as he can’t get engagement with the IADT staff.” Incubator, “There is NO interaction, I have internship opportunities and no- one has let me know how to go about getting that into IADT.” Incubator). There was clear evidence of a degree of disillusionment in respect of engaging with academic staff and a perception of an “Us and Them” divide which has direct parallel in the findings of the literature review. The HETAC Institutional Review of IADT (2011) which identified recommended improvement in the level of interaction between “IADT and its onsite incubation centre”. A number of Incubators and Alumni expressed the wish for greater interaction with the research work of IADT Staff (e.g. “I would welcome an increase in engagement. I would like to meet some of the research staff in IADT and hear what areas of research they are working on to see if there is any potential to collaborate in my business.” Incubator, “A benefit would be to hear from the researchers what can IADT do for my business would also be of interest. “).
  85. 73 Some of the literature suggests (Enterprise Ireland 2005) that

    it is the incubator manager who should initiate and drive interaction with the host institution, that the manager should take the first steps in forging strong ties. However, the IADT incubator manager cited a degree of powerlessness in getting academic staff to prioritise commercial objectives sufficiently. This view was echoed by Incubator respondents (e.g. “Key IADT staff are complacent within the bureaucratic system they operate in” Incubator). This finding is corroborated by Wohlmuther’s (2008) research within a university environment in New Zealand. Wohlmuther’s research finds that it is often not clear on who actually has, or who is perceived to have, the balance of power in such circumstances. One IADT Staff participant cited the fact that enterprise engagement is almost “frowned upon” as an activity in which a true academic would not be involved. This is a particularly important finding due to the fact that Vanderstraeten and Matthyssens (2010) find that incubators with high quality access to the host institution’s expertise and facilities are among the top-performing incubators generating considerable revenue for the host institution. The most successful relationships are those where the incubation centre becomes part of the research commercialisation strategy of the HEI. This study finds that this is not the case at IADT in respect of the Media Cube (e.g. “Personally my business does have a good relationship with IADT but I would be pretty unique. A lot of the companies in the Media Cube now have very little affiliation with IADT“. Incubator). The divide is reflected in the fact that a number of Incubators see the Media Cube as merely as cheap office space that “happens to be located on a third level campus”, rather than an incubation centre with high quality access to the host institution’s expertise and facilities. Rents in the centre have fallen as a result. 4.5.1.4 Collaborative Commercial Research Within ‘Collaborative Commercial Research‘ the individual obstacle most cited across the three populations was ‘Quality and Time Issues’ while the least cited was ‘Intellectual Property Leakage’. A finding that arose from the analysis of transcripts in respect of this sub-theme is that there appears to be a degree of misinformation, a lack of trust and misunderstandings on the part of Incubator and Business Owning Alumni respondents in respect of professional research services (e.g. “I do nothing in research collaboration with IADT at the moment, I don’t understand how they really work, afraid they would demand IP control, I’m a bit nervous of
  86. 74 it, part ownership of my company with a college

    doesn’t rest easy with me.” Alumni). There is an apparent generalisation whereby IADT would take a disproportionate share of the intellectual property (even in services that do not involve intellectual property matters). Concern was expressed over the valuation HEIs put on Intellectual Property (IP) and potential dilution (e.g. “My company is interested in Innovation Vouchers however I find that HEIs overvalue any IP they contribute. For my collaborating with a HEI can’t be decoupled from IP. If I felt collaboration diluted ownership in any way I would not be interested” Alumni). There is clear evidence of dissatisfaction from the Incubators with the results of their collaboration with IADT on Innovation Vouchers. This is an important finding with implications for the ability of IADT to earn revenue from this source. IADT’s policy on consultancy (IADT Development Office 2010) states that the completion of consultancy work, and in particular Innovation Vouchers, is of strategic importance to the Institute. While a degree of misalignment of time frames (with business seeking quicker results than universities) is commonly noted in relevant research (Pera 2009) the interview evidence refers to delays and quality issues at IADT which fatally undermine the value of the projects. This research found earlier that one school was processing 0.1 of a voucher per core staff member and another 0.03 of a voucher per core staff member in the period under review. Such a low put through is likely to undermine quality as this process will not receive enough priority within each School. Two comments selected from the Incubator transcripts yield some further insight on this matter. • Incubator “Business seeks quicker results. My business had an Innovation Voucher with IADT and everything that could go wrong went wrong. It’s not as if I just threw it over the fence at them, I spent a lot of time with the researcher guiding him towards the results we needed. The researcher in question delivered zero useful stuff and after working on it for six months I abandoned it.” • Incubator “I used an Innovation Voucher with IADT to build a prototype but it took too long and the process was not satisfactory. The value of the voucher was €5000 but I didn’t feel I got good value for money, communication was poor, it was too much hassle following up with the IADT staff member. It’s not taken seriously by academic staff; by the time the work comes back innovation is dead!!”
  87. 75 From these comments it would appear that in the

    sample group from the Incubation centre innovation collaboration with IADT does not exhibit characteristics of low transaction costs. When the researcher sought to gain some insight on the matter a relevant staff member refused to comment stating that IADT are about to embark on the next strategic review and that would be the appropriate forum for his thoughts on such a matter. When one looks at the performance by IADT in Table 3 below the increase in completed vouchers apparent in 2011is encouraging. In order to seek insight on this sudden jump the researcher requested a number of IADT Innovation Voucher customer satisfaction reports. In return he received a blank template for IADT Innovation Voucher customer satisfaction reports. He then requested a number of completed reports rather than blank templates but received no further reply from IADT on the matter. However in seeking to further understand the leap in completions which might also explain the levels of dissatisfaction expressed by the Incubators the researcher contacted the relevant manager at Enterprise Ireland (who manage the voucher scheme). Currently Enterprise Ireland does not require the signature of the SME client when each voucher is submitted as completed by the HEI nor is there an individual satisfaction survey returned to Enterprise Ireland with each voucher claim. However the contracts unit at Enterprise Ireland confirmed that it will be addressing this current quality control weakness shortly. Table 3. Analysis of Innovation Vouchers processed by Knowledge Providers in Ireland (Contracts Unit Enterprise Ireland, unpublished) Total Innovation Vouchers by knowledge providers IADT total Percentage 2011 to July 344 11 3.2% 2010 855 8 0.9% 2009 487 4 0.8% 2007/8 207 3 1.1%
  88. 76 4.5.1.5 Competition or Restriction by Competitor Within ‘Competition or

    Restriction by Competitor’ the individual obstacle most cited across the three populations was ‘Using another HEI currently’ while the least cited was ‘In-house’. In the interviews both Business Owning Alumni and Incubators cited collaborative engagements they currently have with other HEIs (e.g. “We were looking to develop a ticketing app but we used DCU as we already have a relationship there and have to keep it in-house.” Alumni). These existing relationships would appear from the conversations to preclude embarking on a collaborative relationship with IADT (e.g. “The reality is that as a multi-national we are engaged in a lot of collaborative projects with different HEIs but IADT is not one of them.”Alumni). The transaction costs of engaging an alternative provider such as IADT appear to be an obstacle to this form of engagement. This has implications for IADT in a fast moving educational market place (e.g. “Ballyfermot College are eating our breakfast in the animation area at the moment.” IADT Staff). As the Hunt Report takes effect a number of more proactive HEIs are making “land grabs” for growth areas targeted by national policy. The Hunt report is clear on the fact that duplication of offering will not be countenanced therefore the time for manoeuvre available to the IADT is limited. 4.5.2 Analysis and Conclusion While IADT’s current strategic plan (IADT President 2008) states that its objective in respect of its organisation culture is “To embed a culture of innovation and quality enhancement” this does not appear to be occurring in respect of ‘effective enterprise engagement’. The data on this question provides evidence of considerable evidence of obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT. There is evidence at IADT of clear and present obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ in terms of ‘Misalignment’, ‘Culture Gaps’, ‘Disconnect’ and in respect of ‘Collaborative Commercial Research’ there is also evidence of unsatisfactory quality and lack of commercial viability in respect of Innovation Voucher work. Opinions differ on the causes of these obstacles. The current academic employment contract emerges as a key obstacle as did the apparent low prioritisation of such work within IADT. On the other hand IADT staff indicate that effective engagement with SMEs is difficult and time consuming and they are not rewarded for it.
  89. 77 In terms of identifying the root cause of why

    this is the case ‘Culture Obstacles’ appear to account for the highest proportion of obstacles (on average 54% of citations) with ‘Operational Obstacles’ accounting for 47% of citations. The data suggests that IADT has a more significant problem in respect of internal culture towards effective engagement. In seeking to explain the nature of such ‘Culture Obstacles’ the data suggests that IADT Staff do not feel they are sufficiently rewarded by their contract of employment for engagement in ‘effective enterprise engagement’. ‘Culture Gap’ appears to a major generator of ‘Culture Obstacles’. The data indicates a relatively low level of trust between the IADT Staff and the Incubator and Business Owning Alumni groups in respect of collaborative enterprise projects on the grounds of unrealistic expectations, commercial awareness, academic holidays, timeliness and quality. This is compounded by evidence of a degree of misinformation, lack of trust and misunderstanding on the part of Incubator and Business Owning Alumni is evident in the data in respect of professional research services at IADT. Turning to the issue of diversified revenue streams the finding of a high degree of internal culture related obstacles has serious implications for IADT’s ability to diversify its funding streams from government sources in a timely manner. Data from a number of Incubators cites a misalignment between the discipline areas of their business and the teaching and research areas of IADT. This misalignment has the effect of reducing the potential internal market for IADT’s ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ and reduces IADT’s potential to create ‘actual collaboration’ and capability through volume. Furthermore in terms of disconnect the Virtual Lab Environment (VLAB), funded by Enterprise Ireland, was singled out for mention as a high value asset which has no alignment with the resource needs of SMEs and as such will remain an under-utilised asset not creating revenue for IADT. A further serious problem for diversified funding streams emerged where, in addition to the nature of the Media Cube client businesses not being strictly aligned with the teaching strengths of IADT, a number of Incubator respondents referred to a “chasm” between the Incubation Centre occupants and IADT. There was clear evidence of a degree of disconnect and disillusionment in respect of engaging with IADT academic staff and an “Us and Them” perception which had a direct parallel in the findings of the literature review. This is of concern as the literature finds that the most successful relationships are those where the incubation centre becomes part of the research commercialisation strategy of the HEI. There is a finding in the data that this is not the case at IADT in respect of the Media Cube. This divide is reflected in the fact that a number of Incubators see the Media Cube as merely as
  90. 78 cheap office space rather than an incubation centre with

    high quality access to the host institution’s expertise and facilities. Rents in the centre have fallen as a result. Deepening the theme of a “chasm” between IADT and its Incubation Centre there is a finding from the data that the Incubators are dissatisfied with the results of their collaboration with IADT on Innovation Vouchers. This is an important finding with implications for the ability of IADT to earn revenue from this source and professionalise their enterprise collaborative research capability. The data cites delays and quality issues at IADT which fatally undermine the value of the Innovation Voucher projects of the respondents from a commercial point of view. A consequence of this is the undermining of IADT’s ability to create an internal culture of enterprise engagement. The consequence of the misalignment of Medic Cube tenants with IADT teaching strengths, the disconnect between IADT staff and Incubation Centre occupants and the complaints of Incubators concerning the quality and timeliness of IADT collaborative research is a considerably reduced ability by IADT to exploit the captive audience in the Media Cube for building specialist research capabilities, ‘effective enterprise engagement’ and commercial revenue generation. Corroboration of this finding is evidence from the data that Incubators see the Media Cube as undifferentiated cheap office accommodation and rents have fallen accordingly. Finally the data suggests that the time available to IADT to get it right in respect of the above issues is finite. Both Business Owning Alumni and Incubators cited existing collaborative engagements they currently have with other HEIs as precluding them embarking on a collaborative relationship with IADT. As the Hunt Report takes effect a number of more proactive HEIs are making “land grabs” for enterprise growth areas targeted by national policy. The Hunt report is clear on the fact that duplication of offering will not be countenanced therefore the time for manoeuvre for IADT to establish ‘actual collaboration’ in selected strategic areas is limited. Therefore at the end of this objective the findings suggest that there are considerable obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT and that these obstacles are more rooted in the culture within IADT than operationally.
  91. 79 4.6 Findings and Analysis in respect of Research Question

    3 - Are Systems and Structures Embedded within IADT to Overcome Obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ The objective of this question is to identify the degree to which current enterprise engagements are embedded via systems and structures at IADT and their consequential potential for their long- term sustainability. The more embedded the relationships, the more likely ‘actual collaboration’ will take place thereby yielding ‘symbiotic engagement’. In order to illuminate this issue an open-ended question was put to interviewees namely “Please outline the systems and structures which IADT uses in your experience in respect of enterprise engagement”. 4.6.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 3 The sub-themes identified in the literature review include the following: 1. System – Being organised behaviour towards a defined goal. In the case of this research the systemic goal is that of Hunt’s enterprise engagement objective (better meeting the growth needs of SMEs and thus generating revenue streams for the HEI), un-systematic being the opposite. 2. Structure - Being institutional processes “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents” that support the enterprise engagement goal of the Hunt Report, un-structured being the opposite. 3. Individual Initiative - Being voluntary, ad hoc goodwill gestures and efforts by individual members of staff or SME owner managers in respect of enterprise engagement. * The themes and analytic codes used in this section were extracted from the literature review and used to compile the table containing the coding analysis framework and the table containing the content analysis of relevant interview responses located in Appendix 8. Coding analysis in terms of Analytic Codes is only referenced in the findings where it provides additional insight. *This sub-themes emerged during the iterative analysis of interview data and were incorporated in the analysis framework.
  92. 80 4.6.2 Content Analysis The results of the analysis of

    responses to this theme were that: • ‘Individual Initiative’ emerged as the most commonly cited sub-theme across the three populations with descriptive codes from this sub-theme being cited on average 67% across all the relevant engagements. • Within the ‘System’ sub-theme 42% of interviewees used descriptive codes suggestive of ‘Systematic’ behaviour in respect of enterprise engagement which contrasts with 58% finding in respect of ‘Un-Systematic’ type descriptive codes. • Within the ‘Structure’ sub-theme 50% of interviewees used descriptive codes suggestive of ‘Un-Structured’ processes in respect of enterprise engagement while there was a 42% finding in respect of ‘Structure’ type descriptive codes. Each sub-theme within Research Question 3 will now be addressed commencing with ‘Individual Initiative’, ‘System’ and then ‘Structure’. Analytic codes followed the same meaning as the relevant sub-theme and therefore did not yield further insight. 4.6.2.1 Individual initiative Within this theme the individual descriptive code cited across the three populations was ‘Goodwill Basis’ while the least cited was ‘Responsibility’. This is a positive finding in respect of enterprise engagement in one sense. It suggests that both Incubators-Alumni and IADT Staff populations show initiative in engaging with each other with some extremely positive examples (e.g. “Lecturer Y took the initiative and contacted me to talk to the interactive media degree students and the Masters programme.” Alumni). In the interviews a number of respondents singled out individual members of staff at IADT for positive mention and as the instigators of maintaining the relationship (e.g. “Once when I rang for a reference and the individual lecturer showed the initiative to seek internship opportunities, he asked about opportunities in Canada for students.” Alumni). This is an important finding as many of the activities crucial to engagement at the HEI- Enterprise innovation interface are dependent on social processes. Johnston et al (2010) identified these processes as, inter alia, openness and connectivity of network structures and
  93. 81 building trust in relationships through mutual understanding. A contrary

    argument is however that trust is a function of a systematic approach (rather than individual initiative) which generates predictability in the relationship and embedding leading to being part of an effective network. The more dependence there is on individual initiative the more likely that key engagement relationships may be lost as staff come and go at IADT (e.g. “There is no structured interface at IADT for Alumni to liaise with. As a result I rely on my personal network at IADT for access to the best students. However many of my contacts have moved on and my IADT network is atrophying now.”Alumni). From the perspective of the Incubators the majority stated they took the initiative in “injecting” themselves into IADT for engagements such as guest lectures or student projects (e.g. “I am always going to ask lecturers if they would like me to speak to their students to try and inject myself into the place. I approach IADT myself and speak at least once a year but it is only with one lecturer.”Incubator). There was a similar finding in respect of Alumni with one notable exception. While cases of individual IADT staff being proactive were cited but the majority of Incubators and Alumni felt IADT were reactive. IADT staff members all referred to a dependence on individual initiative for most types of enterprise engagement (apart from certain guest lectures which have an annual budget allocation) with a lack of resources and lack of internal prioritisation being cited by way of explanation. 4.6.2.2 System Within this sub-theme descriptive codes indicating systematic behaviour were most frequently cited in respect of ‘Guest Lecture’ while the least cited was ‘Innovation Voucher’. In the context of this study the goal of systematic enterprise engagement activity at IADT is the creation of effective networks through strategic enterprise engagement with the potential to yield revenue to IADT. Therefore in the context of this study the goal of systemic behaviour at IADT should be ‘effective enterprise engagement’. There is a finding that a number of the engagements that fall under the ‘Networking’ analytic code are not conducted on a systematic basis at IADT (examples include ‘guest lectures’ and ‘student showcase’) i.e. towards the above systematic goal. Evidence also emerges that the majority of the engagement activities categorised as ‘Growth Resources’ are conducted on a “hit and miss” basis (e.g. “Work placement is sporadic; it is hit and miss on a course by
  94. 82 course basis with the programme coordinator taking responsibility.” IADT

    Staff). Revenue earning ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ appear to be excessively dependent on the individual initiative and personal enthusiasm of IADT Staff and as such are not occurring on a systematic basis at IADT (e.g. “The staff that are interested in modernising their skill are the ones that get engaged in this work. “ IADT Staff). Other key forms of income generating research projects and investments (such as the Virtual Lab funding from Enterprise Ireland) rely on individual IADT Staff initiative. This finding is corroborated in the literature, the IADT School of Creative Technologies programmatic review (2010) notes that successes at the school are often the result of individual effort. In seeking to establish explanations for this finding IADT staff members cited a lack of resources and lower prioritisation (in comparison with learning programmes for example). One interviewee from the staff expressed the belief that putting enterprise engagements on a systematic, monitored basis might be counter-productive but then went on to describe an event which contradicted this view. “My colleagues do not get sufficient recognition however timetabling goodwill in a systematic way is not desirable as too many metrics can undermine goodwill. I would prefer to let things evolve organically. Saying that however in the past projects such as the establishment of an Business Owning Alumni organisation and a marketing plan for this were allocated to interested parties but no metrics were assigned or timescales so there was no follow-up and little happened.” IADT Staff respondent The view that academic staff members resist metric-driven accountability does appear in the literature. Egginton (2010) states that historically HEIs have been independent institutions, backed by an ideology that led staff to expect and enjoy high levels of independence and autonomy, relatively free from any sense of management, commercial responsibility and accountability. IADT Staff respondents cited the fact that activity spikes in certain areas due to underlying objectives (the design of a new academic programme, for example, requires an increase in engagement with enterprise temporarily). One of the Incubator respondents cited bureaucratic obstacles as being an underlying reason why structured behaviour has not evolved in respect of internships (e.g.“I started an internship programme myself to get IADT students to work with our company. It ran out of steam after some invoicing issues.” Incubator).
  95. 83 4.6.2.3 Structure Within this sub-theme the descriptive code indicating

    systematic behaviour was most frequently cited in respect of ‘Student Showcase’ while that least chosen was ‘Media Cube liaison’. In terms of a structured approach this was most in evidence in respect of annual ‘Networking’ events (e.g. “Dragon’s Den is an annual event” or “The student showcase is an annual event”). At the other end of the spectrum the data suggests there is an absence of structure in respect of the relationship between the Media Cube and IADT (e.g. “As manager of the incubation centre I have meetings with the school heads about the Media Cube informally; there is no formal structure in place at the moment.”). Opinions were divided amongst the IADT Staff group on the issue of a structured approach to enterprise engagement. One stated that “Capturing activity and projecting it should then in turn inform activity which would be a good thing.” whereas another IADT staff member felt it is better to allow engagement to emerge organically “rather than have a formal structured relationship”. However the contra to this opinion is that an essential prerequisite to embedding effective engagement is a close attention to the numbers that the system is reporting for the activity of the key categories of engagement (George 2003). This can be done while also ensuring an avoidance of excessive transaction costs (according to Eggertsson (1990) transaction costs include the costs of gathering information, coordinating users, organising decision making and enforcing rules ). Cork Institute of Technology have commenced using a low cost, flexible Customer Relationship Management system to track all enterprise engagement across the IoT. There is a finding that the absence of a structured approach by IADT to key areas of enterprise engagement results in valuable resources being neglected (such as an Incubator’s comment “I would do guest lectures if I was asked by IADT, I do them for lots of other HEIs”). Furthermore none of the Business Owning Alumni had been approached by IADT to engage with IADT’s professional or collaborative research services. This is in direct contrast to their experience with other IoTs (e.g. “My business is approached on a systematic basis by other IoTs, for example Waterford Institute of Technology were in contact twice in the past 12 months.”). One member blamed the lack of strategic structure in respect of commercial ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ as a contributory factor in what he perceived as IADT’s
  96. 84 weakness in this area (e.g. “At the moment we

    are doing a bit of everything in the commercial research area, Innovation Vouchers etc and this is a weakness.”). In the opinions of Incubator and Alumni respondents trust in IADT structures had been undermined by a failure to follow through on invitations made by IADT or structures established but abandoned (e.g. “I was approached about a guest lecture at IADT but nothing came of it.” Incubator “Someone in the careers office did mention that they would like me to speak as a guest lecturer but nothing happened afterwards.” Incubator, “There was an industry advisory board put together that I sat on. It met three times but it fizzled out.”Alumni). The fact that many enterprise engagements are not “formally captured or reported” does not lend itself to ‘actual collaboration’ becoming embedding within IADT. However noting earlier the findings of Houston et al (2006) HEIs can display a reluctance to examine or measure their own organisational behaviour. The matter of enterprise engagement appears from the data to be a relatively low priority internally despite public announcements to the contrary. It is also the case that the IADT President’s office does not require such reports and performance measurement in respect of engagement and thus there is evidence of a drive towards culture change in this area. On the other hand the Higher Education Authority (HEA 2011) note that there are risks associated with performance measurement which must be acknowledged such as unintended consequences, bureaucracy and stifling of innovation. The finding in the Incubator and IADT Staff group of an absence of structure in respect of engagement with the Media Cube corroborates earlier findings of a disconnect. 4.6.3 Analysis and Conclusion The findings in respect of this objective present a mixed picture. In respect of this sub-theme the Hunt Report states that in facilitating engagement “Outward-facing systems and structures should be embedded into institutional activity”. The findings show that IADT is most systematic about engagements that fall into the Networking analytic code and least systematic about engagements falling into the Professional Collaborative Services codes. A similar finding is that IADT appears to be most structured concerning engagement in respect of Networking codes and least structured in terms of Professional Collaborative Services codes.
  97. 85 Taking into account the finding that the most commonly

    cited descriptive code fell within ‘Individual Initiative’ it suggests that systems and structures in respect of enterprise engagement are not in place at IADT with the potential for “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents”. Therefore it is suggested that the systems and structures in place at IADT in respect of enterprise engagement do not have the potential to overcome the existing obstacles to effective engagement. In seeking to gain further insight on the main finding above it is clear that IADT are excessively dependent on individual initiative in respect of enterprise engagement. The more dependence there is on individual initiative the more likely that key engagement relationships may “atrophy” as staff come and go at IADT. In terms of identifying the root cause of why this is the case the data suggests that it is an endemic issue within the culture of the organisation. IADT appear to be reactive in respect of enterprise engagement. Cases of individual IADT staff being proactive were cited however the majority of Incubators and Business Owning Alumni identified their experience of IADT as an institution is reactive in respect of enterprise engagement. Turning to the issue of diversified revenue streams ‘Networking’ engagements are carried out on a structured basis but not on a systematic basis (i.e. towards the goal of ‘effective enterprise engagement’). The data suggests that no attempt is made to align individual guest lecture invites either on a consistent annual basis (thereby building a pattern of “regular and intense interactions “thus building the ‘effective network’) or with the invitees’ potential to generate research contracts for IADT staff (‘actual collaboration’). ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ are occurring on a structured (as in a process and institution policy documents exist) but not systematic basis at IADT (the data suggests that alignment of activity and capabilities are not optimised towards a strategic goal). Due to the reactive nature of IADT in respect of enterprise engagement the data suggests that valuable resources are being neglected due to the failure to implement structure in respect of key potential engagements. No Alumni in the sample had been approached by IADT to engage with IADT’s professional or collaborative research services. Repeated delays have occurred in respect of harnessing the resource of Alumni via an official IADT Alumni organisation. As a result “There is no structured interface at IADT for Alumni to liaise with. As a result I rely on my personal network at IADT for access to the best students. However many of my contacts have moved on and my IADT network is atrophying now.” (Alumni
  98. 86 respondent). IADT have considered the creation of an Alumni

    organisation for a number of years “but the Institute was not yet in a position to create an infrastructure to seek engagement” (IADT School of Business and Humanities 2010). These findings have negative implications for the ability of IADT to increase ‘effective enterprise engagement’ and diversify funding streams. Trust is undermined through lack of structure in respect of engagement. A number of respondents cited invitation to appear as guest speakers being issued that were never followed up by IADT. There is an absence of structure in respect of IADT engagement with the Media Cube. Trust within the Media Cube has been adversely impacted as the advisory board was disbanded and at the time of the interviews. The evidence for imminent change is not evident within the data. The majority of enterprise engagements are informal and not “formally captured or reported”. Explanations from IADT Staff for the situation outlined above included weakness from being spread too thinly, lack of resources and low internal prioritisation from senior management and the belief that putting enterprise engagements on a systematic, monitored basis might be counterproductive. Consequently the findings from the data suggest that in respect of enterprise engagement the systems and structures are not in place at IADT that have the potential for “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents”. A dependence on ‘Individual Initiative’ on both sides of the innovation interface is undermining the systemic conditions required for ‘actual collaboration’ and symbiosis. Therefore it is found that the systems and structures in place at IADT in respect of enterprise engagement do not have the potential to overcome the existing obstacles to effective engagement. The primary reason this appears to be the case is the matter of genuine enterprise engagement appears from the data to be a relatively low priority internally despite public announcements to the contrary.
  99. 87 4.7 Findings and Analysis in Respect of Research Question

    4 - Can higher levels of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ be achieved at IADT? The objective underlying this question is to identify if conditions can be created to grow the ‘effective network’ at IADT to broaden it across the range of enterprise engagements thereby creating the conditions conducive to ‘actual collaboration’. In order to seek an answer to this question a number of sub-questions must be addressed namely what are the attitudes of the respondents to an increase? What are the enabling requirements that need to be addressed to facilitate an increase and what are the benefits that Business Owning Alumni and Incubators might seek in order to be motivated to increase their engagement? In order to draw out this issue the open-ended question put to interviewees for this Objective was “Would you be prepared to increase levels of enterprise engagement in respect of IADT and what should be addressed to facilitate such an increase?” 4.7.1 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis for Research Question 4 The sub-themes which were identified in literature review and which emerged during the interviews include the following: 1. Positively disposed towards increased engagement (‘Positively Disposed’). 2. Enabling requirements necessary before any increase in engagement (‘Enabling Requirements’).* 3. Benefits sought to provide motivation to increase engagement (‘Benefits Sought’).* The themes and analytic codes used in this section were extracted from the literature review and used to compile the table containing the coding analysis framework and the table containing the content analysis of relevant interview responses located in Appendix 9. Coding analysis in terms of Analytic Codes is only referenced in the findings where it provides additional insight. *The analytic codes and frameworks for these sub-themes emerged during the iterative analysis of interview data and were incorporated in the analysis framework.
  100. 88 4.7.2 Content Analysis The results of the analysis of

    responses to this objective were that: • ‘Positively Disposed’ descriptive codes from this sub-theme were cited on an average of 92% across all the sample populations. • ‘Enabling Requirements’ descriptive codes from this sub-theme were cited on average 67% across all the sample populations. • ‘Benefits Sought’ descriptive codes from this sub-theme were cited on average 83% across all the sample populations. Each sub-theme for Research Question 4 will now be addressed. 4.7.2.1 Positively Disposed Within ‘Positively Disposed’ there was a 92% positive response to the question with the exception of one Incubator who did not wish to have any further engagement with IADT. Within the data the individual response most cited across the three populations was ‘Yes’ while the least cited was ‘Collaborate’. All sample populations indicated that they were positively disposed however interview responses followed a pattern of cautious welcome from the IADT Staff group (e.g. “Yes, there would be a benefit to increasing engagement via such things as student projects and work placements. However there are pros and cons, they are difficult to organise and be consistent about.”) to full bodied enthusiasm on the part of the Incubators (e.g. “I would consider increased engagement positively. I would be happy to formalise the relationship.”) and Business Owning Alumni(e.g. “My company has a vendor strategy department in the company and I am continuously looking for diversity of suppliers.”). In particular IADT has a good reputation amongst Business Owning Alumni in terms of the students that Business Owning Alumni engage with directly after graduation and via internship programs. There was also enthusiasm amongst the Incubators for active participation in the disbanded Media Cube Advisory Board (e.g. “Yes, I would be delighted to help on the Media Cube advisory board for example to give a voice to identifying the supports start-ups really needs.” Incubator).
  101. 89 IADT Staff expressed concerns in respect of the conflict

    of interest between student learning outcomes and enterprise needs (e.g. “I would be concerned to ensure that our students were not cheap labour or that their learning outcomes were compromised”. IADT Staff ). These views are similar to those identified in the literature review (e.g. NUIM 2011). They also expressed concern over the difficulty of securing sufficient engagement from enterprise (e.g. “Meaningful engagement for things like student work placement would be great but might only get two companies and what do you do with the rest of the students, is it fair?” or “Is a big logistical administrative overhead. Creative industries are harder to match with specific intern requests.”). The Incubator and Business Owning Alumni groups expressed interest in all areas of engagement except increased use of the physical facilities of IADT (in particular the Virtual Lab) or of those Incubators who have Innovation Voucher experience with IADT indicated no wish to engage again in this respect with IADT. 4.7.2.2 Enabling Requirements Within Enabling Requirements the individual engagement most cited across the three populations was ‘Culture Change’ while the least cited was ‘Transaction Costs’. While there was broad support for an increase in enterprise engagement in the previous sub- theme there were also a number of caveats and “cons” identified by the respondents. These are addressed in more detail in this sub-theme however those objections that touch on learning outcomes are not addressed as they are outside the scope of this study. IADT Staff respondents identified a requirement to “re-structure internally” to bring about “culture changes”. “There is lots of energy within IADT put poor connectivity internally and we are duplicating activities internally. Before we could seriously embark on professional engagement with enterprise I believe that we need to re-structure internally into one school with three departments would lead to greater focus on the whole rather than fiefdoms.” IADT Staff respondent This group also expressed concern about a potential conflict of interest between “the objectives of the company needing a commercial result and the students learning objectives”.
  102. 90 The IADT Staff also cited the necessity of any

    enterprise engagement activities being recognised in their employment contacts (e.g.“Staff in my school do not get rewarded for all the time they put into creating industry contacts. Compared to NCAD IADT staff have had to work a lot harder to develop the contacts and it should be recognised in our contracts.” IADT Staff). Business Owning Alumni and Incubators identified themes similar to earlier findings in relation to addressing quality obstacles (e.g. “Quality control is essential if I were to start using IADT research consultancy, the standard of work would need to be at least as good as my current suppliers and freelancers.”Alumni) and the overhead of learning curves on each side being identified as something that they would require to be addressed (e.g. “Transaction costs can’t be too high, there can’t be a big learning curve for the academic I’m going to work with. I don’t have time to teach IADT how to do their job.”Alumni). The hidden costs of ineffective interfacing between IADT and enterprise were cited as an inhibitor (e.g, “If it was made easier I would like the resource of interns from IADT, the management overhead of organising this at the moment is too high. By easier I mean help refining our needs which would improve the chances of getting the right candidates.” Incubator). In respect of student interns and work placements Incubators and Business Owning Alumni suggested improvements at the interface so that the right student with the right skills could be identified for the needs of the company. Furthermore Professional Collaborative Services (such as Work Based Training) must be relevant to the specific company’s needs (e.g “I would be interested in engaging with IADT on work based training but it would need to be customised to what we do.” Incubator). These findings have common ground with the work of Johnston et al (2010) who showed that the removal of engagement bottlenecks may depend on the provision of well defined
  103. 91 interfaces or other technical standards that facilitate coordination and

    cooperation between ecosystem members and this activity needs resources and management attention which may not be forthcoming. 4.7.2.3 Benefits Sought The question was put as to what would constitute sufficient benefit or incentive to the Incubator and Alumni groups in exchange for moving towards a level of ‘regular and intense interaction’. While this question was put to all respondents it was requested that the replies from IADT Staff should be formulated from the point of view of the Incubators and Alumni (i.e. the IADT Staff were asked to surmise what in their opinion had in the past led to an increase in engagement by enterprise). Within ‘Benefits Sought’ the individual engagement most cited across the three populations was ‘Preferential Access’ (e.g. “The most useful thing would be access to first pick of the graduates. It has been a factor in my career success across all the different jobs I have had over the past fifteen years.” Alumni) while the least cited was ‘Moral Suasion’ (e.g. “I believe Alumni with their own businesses would get more involved due to affection for the college, a desire to revisit tutors and a bit of moral suasion.” IADT Staff). Business Owning Alumni and Incubator respondents stated that the reciprocal benefits that would help them in undertaking an increased level of engagement included the opportunity to help build their personal profile and build their network (e.g. “I would do it to help build my personal profile and my network.), and networking with the most promising students at IADT (e.g. “Good to have a close relationship with IADT and to get to know the under-graduates before the other studios get them. Having an “in” is a competitive advantage for me.”), being offered networking opportunities with high profile people to provide potential opportunities for their business (e.g. “I’m happy doing one offs like guest lectures but if I was to commit to a structured engagement I would need it to be a networking opportunity where other important people are coming so that there are potential opportunities for my business.”). Incubators expressed a desire to serve on the incubation centre’s Advisory Board (e.g. “The reason I would like to get more involved is I would like to see things get better for clients in the Media Cube.”). A final benefit would be if IADT would provide an update to Alumni and Incubators on what they are working on behind the scenes which could lead to collaboration
  104. 92 in the long term (e.g. A benefit would be

    to hear from the researchers what can IADT do for my business would also be of interest. “). A significant finding is that all the benefits identified are engagements that are of a type which have the potential to improve the effective enterprise network for IADT and would not necessarily cost money to implement. Also cited was the need for an official Alumni organisation to enable collaboration (e.g. “If they had an official Alumni organisation it could open doors to increased collaborative work” Alumni). Palmer and Koenig-Lewis (2008) found that, from the perspective of an institute of higher education, a strong and vibrant alumni association offers potential sources of finance and political influence, in addition to a strong likelihood of individuals recommending the university to future prospective students. According to Weerts and Ronca (2009) the key determinants of alumni that become givers to the HEI are inter alia the level of “keeping in touch” with the institution that is facilitated by the HEI. 4.7.3 Analysis and Conclusion The ideal situation from a Hunt perspective is to have a growing effective network at IADT (i.e. increasing the transivity and homophilly of the network). The data yields results that are encouraging in this regard, 92% of respondents are positively disposed to an increase. Caveats are, however, expressed and investment in interfaces that would serve to minimise costs and errors for enterprises are cited as necessary amongst the Incubators and Alumni. The necessity for a change of culture and clarity of strategic objectives was identified by IADT Staff as were quality control, the overheads of learning curves, the alignment of interns/work placements with the precise needs of the business and that all ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ be customised to the needs of the business. All of these emerged from the data as ‘Enabling Requirements’. In terms of identifying the root cause of why respondents require that a range of ‘Enabling Requirements’ be addressed the existing internal culture and low prioritisation of enterprise engagement was cited. The IADT Staff also cited the necessity of any enterprise engagement activities being recognised in their employment contacts. Incubators and Alumni were concerned about quality control and the overhead of learning curves on each side being identified as something that they would require to be addressed. The hidden costs of
  105. 93 ineffective interfacing between IADT and enterprise were cited as

    an inhibitor currently. In respect of student interns and work placements Incubators and Business Owning Alumni suggested improvements at the interface so that the right student with the right skills could be identified for the needs of the company. It was found that a key enabler of an increase in respect of Business Owning Alumni would be the establishment of an official IADT Alumni organisation to enable collaborative opportunities. Turning to the types of benefits sought by Incubators and Alumni as an incentive to increase engagement, a significant finding is that all the benefits identified are engagements that are of a type which would have the potential to improve the effective network for IADT and would not necessarily cost a significant amount of money to implement. The benefits they cited included the opportunities to help build their personal profile and their network, networking with most promising students at IADT, be briefed by IADT researchers on enterprise related research projects they are engaged in and finally being offered networking opportunities with high profile people to provide potential opportunities for their business. Turning to the issue of diversified revenue streams it is of concern that there was a finding of no demand amongst the Incubator and Business Owning Alumni group for increases in the use of the physical facilities of IADT (in particular the Virtual Lab) or for increased collaborative research amongst those Incubators with Innovation Voucher experience of IADT. Data from the majority of Incubators and Business Owning Alumni indicated that if enabling conditions were addressed they would potentially engage with IADT to a point where it becomes part of their effective network. The feasibility of implementing any of the benefits sought for increased engagement is dependent on the success of the President at IADT in implementing culture change within the organisation. Therefore at the end of this objective the findings suggest that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT may be increased if commitment and leadership on the matter of deep rooted internal culture change at IADT is demonstrated by the President. This finding is corroborated in the literature. Successful mutually beneficial engagement with external organisations has been found to require strategic and organisational shifts on the part of HEIs and their partners, and a commitment by senior HEI managers in support of the third stream mission (PACEC and the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge 2009).
  106. 94 4.8 Summary of Findings and Conclusion The content analysis

    of the data and analysis of the findings yielded a range of important conclusions. In respect of Research Question 1 there is a finding of high levels of enterprise engagement within the sample populations. This is encouraging however the majority of the engagements identified are transactional in nature and are biased towards ‘Networking’. Therefore they fail the ‘actual collaboration’ test as the intensity of activity is not occurring equally across the three categories of engagement. When the symbiotic engagement test is applied the categories of enterprise engagement with the highest citations (‘Networking’ and ‘Growth Resources’) are found not to be symbiotic in the Hunt sense. Therefore based on the data from the sample populations there is a finding that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents). In terms of identifying the root cause of why IADT fails in respect of Research Question 1 a number of explanations present themselves. ‘Networking’ observed at IADT is concentrated in transactional once-off Guest Lectures. Furthermore IADT Staff cite ‘superficial’ enterprise ‘engagement’ with industry organisations in place of genuine one-to-one engagement with individual SMEs. This finding has serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to diversify its dependence on the exchequer. This finding is confirmed in the data through a finding of zero amongst relevant respondents in respect of use of ‘Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise’, ‘Use of Resources of Lecture Halls/Meeting Rooms in IADT’ or ‘Use of the Virtual Lab’. Furthermore there is a finding that the most basic unit of enterprise collaboration, the Innovation Voucher, is not prioritised by the two largest schools at IADT with resulting implications for quality and timeliness. The negative consequences of the absence of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ are evident in the fact that in the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013. Furthermore the research
  107. 95 indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to

    meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs. In respect of Research Question 2 the data on this question provides evidence of considerable obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT. In terms of identifying the root cause of why this is the case, ‘Culture Obstacles’ appear to account for the highest proportion of obstacles in the data. IADT Staff do not feel they are sufficiently rewarded by their contract of employment for engagement in ‘effective enterprise engagement’. The data indicates a relatively low level of trust between the IADT Staff and the Incubator and Business Owning Alumni groups in respect of collaborative enterprise projects on the grounds of commercial awareness, academic holidays, timeliness and quality. Data from a number of Incubators cites a misalignment between the discipline areas of their business and the teaching and research areas of IADT. This misalignment has the effect of reducing the potential internal market for IADT’s ‘Professional Collaborative Services’ and reduces IADT’s potential to build collaborative capability and expertise through volume. Furthermore in terms of disconnect the Virtual Lab Environment (VLAB), funded by Enterprise Ireland, was singled out for mention as a high value asset which has no alignment with the resource needs of SMEs and as such will remain an under-utilised asset which is not generating revenue for IADT. These findings have serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to diversify away from its dependence on exchequer funding. This is compounded by the finding that a number of Incubator respondents refer to a “chasm” between the Incubation Centre occupants and IADT. As a result a number of Incubators see the Media Cube as merely as cheap office space and rents in the centre have fallen as a result. The data cites delays and quality issues at IADT which fatally undermine the value of the Innovation Voucher projects of the respondents from a commercial point of view. IADT’s policy on consultancy (IADT Development Office 2010) states that the completion of consultancy work, and in particular Innovation Vouchers, is of strategic importance to the Institute. Therefore it is of concern to discover that the Incubators are dissatisfied with the results of their collaboration with IADT on Innovation Vouchers. This is an important finding with implications for the ability of IADT to earn revenue from this source and professionalise their enterprise collaborative research capability.
  108. 96 The misalignment of Media Cube tenants with IADT teaching

    strength, the disconnect between IADT staff and Incubation Centre occupants, the absence of institutional systems or structures that bridge the divide between the Media Cube and IADT and the complaints of Incubators concerning the quality and timeliness of collaborative research results in a considerably reduced ability for IADT to exploit the captive audience of the Media Cube for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ and commercial revenue generation. In respect of Research Question 3 there is a finding that existing systems and structures at IADT do not have the potential to overcome the obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’. Hunt’s objective of “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents” will not be achieved at IADT based on the results of the data. IADT are excessively dependent on individual initiative in respect of enterprise engagement on both sides of the innovation interface. The more dependence there is on individual initiative the more likely that key engagement relationships may “atrophy” as staff come and go at IADT. In terms of identifying the root cause of why this is the case the data suggests that it is an endemic issue within the culture of the organisation. The data indicates that IADT are reactive in respect of creating ‘effective enterprise engagement’. These findings have serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to create new revenue streams. Current ‘Networking’ activity is conducted in a structured manner but not on a systematic basis (i.e. towards the goal of ‘effective enterprise engagement’). The data suggests that no attempt is made to align individual guest lecture invites either on a consistent annual basis (thereby building deeper relationships) or with the invitees’ potential to generate commercial research or other revenue generating collaborations for IADT. A negative consequence of the lack of strategic, structured activity is that valuable resources are being neglected. No Alumni in the sample had been approached by IADT to engage with IADT’s professional or collaborative research services. Repeated delays over the years have occurred in respect of harnessing the resource of Alumni through an official IADT Alumni organisation. Trust has been undermined through lack of structure in respect of engagement, a number of respondents cited invitation to appear as guest speakers being issued that were never followed up by IADT. There is an absence of structure in respect of IADT engagement with the Media Cube. Trust within the Media Cube has been adversely impacted as the advisory board was disbanded at the time of the interviews.
  109. 97 The prospect of short-term change is not evident within

    the data. The majority of enterprise engagements are reported as being informal and not required by the President to be “formally captured or reported”. The matter of enterprise engagement appears from the data to be a relatively low priority internally despite public announcements to the contrary. Explanations from IADT Staff for the situation outlined above include capability weakness from being spread too thinly across the range of engagement categories, lack of resources, low internal prioritisation of enterprise engagement from senior management and the belief that putting enterprise engagements on a systematic, monitored basis might be counterproductive. In respect of Research Question 4 there is a finding that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT may be increased if commitment and leadership on the matter of deep rooted culture change at IADT is demonstrated by the President. Data from the majority of Incubators and Business Owning Alumni indicates that if a series of identified enabling conditions are addressed they would potentially engage with IADT to a point where ‘actual collaboration’ and symbiosis may occur. Before concluding Chapter 4 it is important to acknowledge that alternative explanations often exist for findings identified in research. Miles and Huberman (1994) state that it is only by testing the findings using contra-cases that one may be able to move towards formulating valid conclusions. In seeking to conduct this research the researcher has sought to ensure that all putative findings were corroborated and triangulated with the literature (both that of IADT documents and the academic literature) and by direct further investigation with relevant parties by phone calls and email queries. Therefore the researcher is confident that the findings and analysis of this chapter accurately represent the situation in respect of enterprise engagement at IADT at the time of this study. Now that the findings from the research data have been documented and analysed the next chapter of this study presents the conclusions and related recommendations arising from this research study.
  110. 98 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION 5.1 Introduction The previous chapter used

    the analysis framework developed in the literature to seek to identify findings in respect of the research questions. A series of findings in respect of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT were presented. The purpose of this chapter is to present a further discussion of the findings presented in Chapter 4 and to provide a set of recommendations to IADT and relevant government bodies based on the findings of this study. Implications for the practice of enterprise engagement at IADT and for future research in this domain are presented. Lastly a brief conclusion of the study is presented. 5.1.1 Outline solution to research problem, aim & objectives Government are looking to HEIs and the ecosystem around HEIs to help build the recovery of the national finances through the innovative, expert led growth of SMEs. Research finds that SMEs are a key engine of growth in modern economies and a significant source of applied innovation. However in the Irish economy insufficient numbers of the smaller sized SMEs are innovating in the disciplined manner required to achieve scaling and export growth. Government policy and the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 see HEIs are part of the solution to this challenge through an increased level of effective engagement with SME needs. In terms of addressing the outline solution to the research problem it should be noted that the results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. The aim of this research was to use an exploratory case study to evaluate whether ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is occurring at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT), Dun Laoghaire. For the purposes of this study ‘effective enterprise engagement’ was defined as actual collaborative activities occurring within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. A number of limitations were noted in Chapter 3 however the researcher believes that, due to the care taken in selecting the case study institute, the respondents and the expertise exhibited in adding his interpretation, valid conclusions have
  111. 99 been identified by this study. Furthermore these findings have

    been triangulated throughout with literature and informed sources. The answer to each individual research question is addressed in each relevant conclusion below however the cumulative answer to the research question of this study is that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents). This finding has serious adverse consequences for the ability of IADT to generate non- exchequer revenue streams and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. This finding is corroborated by the fact that in the period to December 2010 non-exchequer income accounted for 1.5% of IADT’s €23million income as opposed to an internal strategic target of twenty percent by 2013. A recurring theme throughout the data is that the most significant obstacle to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is the internal culture of IADT. Therefore the overall conclusion of this study is that the single most important condition required for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ to emerge at IADT is the leadership of the new President in implementing the internal culture change necessary. However this study is not intended to be a normative study and as such the recommendations below are based on the specific choices facing IADT. The Hunt Report is clear that HEI funding must be diversified from over-dependence on the exchequer. If IADT fail to make significant financial progress on their current 20 percent target then student will pay the price either through higher fees than necessary or poorer teaching due to resource constraints. In this context effective enterprise engagement may be deemed to be a key priority by the management and President of IADT and the recommendations below may be helpful. 5.2Conclusion 1 with Recommendations In respect of the question as to whether there is evidence for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ at IADT the answer from the data is that there is evidence for engagement occurring. However once the ‘effective network’, ‘actual collaboration’ and ‘symbiotic engagement’ tests are applied to the data it is found that ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is not currently occurring at IADT. Furthermore the research indicates that IADT is failing in its
  112. 100 mission to meet the collaborative innovation, training and professional

    development needs of SMEs (minimal evidence is found in the data of satisfactory interactions in these categories of engagement amongst the respondents). The relationship of IADT with its incubation centre occupants and alumni does not exhibit, in the data collected, transivity or homophilly. This divide is reflected in the fact that a number of Incubators see the Media Cube as merely as cheap office space, rather than an incubation centre with high quality access to the host institution’s expertise and facilities. Rents in the centre have fallen as a result. Putting the contra case it should be emphasised that the difficulty of achieving ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is a common problem for HEIs internationally. For example in the United States, only six per cent of total research funding income is generated from industry sources (Marginson 2011). 5.2.1 Recommendation The overall conclusion of this research is that the internal culture at IADT in respect of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ needs to be addressed and that the respondents indicate that responsibility for implementing the culture change necessary at IADT rests with the people at the top, particularly the new President. A number of respondents stated similar expectations (e.g. “The new president is going to achieve great things in respect of our Third Mission.”). In addressing the issue of culture change Kotter (1996) states that the first step is to create a sense of urgency internally. Kotter suggests that for change to be successful seventy five percent of an organisation's management needs to "buy into" the change. Therefore the President needs to spend significant time and energy building urgency amongst the staff and management. The objective is to form a powerful coalition that will help the President to lead change. The final recommendation is that the President creates and communicates internally her vision for change in order to galvanise the coalition to action. A small step by the President in the direction of culture change would be to seek to require IADT staff to approach ‘Networking’ engagements strategically. This could be achieved by aligning invitations to individuals or organisations with their potential to engage in ‘actual collaboration’ with IADT over time. The focus needs to move from invitations to celebrity industry icons to concentrating on invitees that will commit to long term embedded engagement with IADT across the entire spectrum of innovation activities from basic through
  113. 101 applied research to development, consulting activities through to Continuous

    Professional Development and Industry Training. 5.3 Conclusion 2 with Recommendations In respect of the question of whether obstacles preventing ‘effective enterprise engagement’ exist at IADT the answer from the data is yes. Clear and present obstacles to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ in terms of ‘Misalignment’, ‘Culture Gaps’, ‘Disconnect’ are identified in the data. In respect of ‘Collaborative Commercial Research’ there is also evidence of unsatisfactory quality and lack of commercial viability in respect of Innovation Voucher work conducted by IADT. In terms of identifying the root cause of why this is the case ‘Culture Obstacles’ appear to account for the highest proportion of obstacles in the data. The data indicates a relatively low level of trust between the IADT Staff and the Incubator and Business Owning Alumni groups in respect of collaborative enterprise projects on the grounds of commercial awareness, academic holidays, timeliness and quality. The misalignment of the on-campus Media Cube tenants with IADT teaching strength, the disconnect between IADT staff and Incubation Centre occupants, the absence of institutional systems or structures that could bridge the divide between the Media Cube and IADT and the complaints of Incubators concerning the quality and timeliness of collaborative research results in a considerably reduced ability for IADT to exploit the captive audience of the Media Cube tenants for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ and commercial revenue generation. Putting the contra case it should be emphasised that academic institutions internationally are culturally dependent on academic teaching and research grants from government. This is compounded by the obstacles of an internal culture nature identified at IADT. Again this has similarities internationally. A study of 15 universities in the UK by Martin and Turner (2010) found that tensions can result from imposing third mission activities on organisations established for other purposes. 5.3.1 Recommendations The recurring theme emerging in this study as an obstacle to ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is the internal culture at IADT. Kotter (1996) finds that as culture change takes hold a key step to maintaining momentum in the process is the removal of obstacles: In this respect the recommendation is that the President put in place the structure for change at
  114. 102 IADT, and continually checks for the barriers to it

    identified in this study. Removing, or ameliorating the impact of, obstacles may serve to empower the IADT staff needed to execute change in respect of enterprise engagement. A specific recommendation to IADT is to implement a structured and systematic approach to its relationship with its incubation centre. This presents the most immediate path for IADT to develop embedded relationships with enterprise. Realistically it is not plausible that IADT staff complain of a lack of industry engagement when they do not use the on-campus resource of the Media Cube occupants. A number of occupants identified that the Media Cube Advisory Board is not operational. It is recommended that a number of current Incubators are appointed to a re-activated board which may provide an increased possibility that actions will be initiated to bridge the current divide at IADT. Furthermore Media Cube applicants should be screened strategically to align occupants with IADT’s Specialist Industry Expertise areas within each School. This approach is based on the model used by Cork Institute of Technology in developing and communicating their specific expertise in ICT and linking this into revenue generating industry and enterprise development. See Appendix 10 for the researcher’s outline of how such a strategy could be implemented at IADT. 5.4 Conclusion 3 with Recommendations In respect of Research Question 3 there is a finding that systems and structures in place at IADT in respect of enterprise engagement do not have the potential to overcome the existing obstacles to effective engagement. Hunt’s objective of “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents” will not be achieved at IADT based on the results of the data nor is there evidence in the data for change in the short term. IADT are excessively dependent on individual initiative on both sides of the innovation interface in respect of enterprise engagement. The more dependence there is on individual initiative the more likely that key engagement relationships may “atrophy” as staff come and go at IADT. In terms of identifying the root cause of why this is the case the data suggests that it is an endemic issue within the culture of the organisation. The data indicates that IADT are reactive in respect of creating ‘effective enterprise engagement’. The primary reason this appears to be the case is the matter of enterprise engagement appears from the data to be a relatively low priority internally despite public announcements to the contrary.
  115. 103 Putting the contra case it should be emphasised that

    explanations from IADT Staff for the situation identified in respect of Research Question 3 include capability weakness from being spread too thinly across the range of engagement categories, lack of resources and low internal prioritisation from senior management and the belief that putting enterprise engagements on a systematic, monitored basis might be counterproductive. 5.4.1 Recommendations In order to commence the internal culture change required it is recommended that the President commence requiring internal reporting of enterprise engagement in a professional, thorough manner. An essential prerequisite to embedding effective engagement at IADT is a close attention to the numbers that are being reporting for all the categories of engagement (applied research, commercialisation, development and consulting activities, educational services to SMEs in respect of continuous professional development and industry training). This can be achieve with an avoidance of excessive transaction costs, for example Cork Institute of Technology have commenced using a low cost, flexible Customer Relationship Management system to track all enterprise engagement across the IoT. Being a leading exponent of excellence in Digital Media and Data Visualisation it should possible for the President of IADT to create the sustained impetus for culture change through engaging display of real-time key engagement metrics on wall mounted monitors around the IADT campus. This recommendation is supported in the literature by the fact that the Higher Education Authority (2011) state that metrics can be addressed through building on institutional planning, focusing on a small number of important indicators and focusing mainly on outcomes not means. This recommendation is made because using metrics to underpin culture change in the area of enterprise engagement will become more important over coming years. The Higher Education Authority is currently preparing a performance based model for future funding of HEIs. The metrics for such funding will be informed by the engagement objectives contained in the Hunt Report. A second recommendation in respect of structures is that an official IADT Alumni organisation be established as soon as possible. By keeping in structured contact with IADT Alumni they may form a valuable database and resource for collaborative innovation and training programmes at IADT.
  116. 104 5.5 Conclusion 4 with Recommendations The necessity for a

    change of internal culture and clarity of strategic objectives as a key enabling requirement for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ was identified by a majority of the respondents, in particular the IADT Staff respondents. (e.g. “We would need to be strategic in our approach to increasing engagement, we would need to decide what we are going to do and how. This would then need to be distilled into SMART goals and monitored by the President to ensure that the IADT culture changes effectively“). In respect of Research Question 4 there is a finding that a greater level of ‘effective enterprise engagement’ may be achieved if commitment and leadership on the matter of deep rooted culture change at IADT is demonstrated by the President. This commitment would be evident to colleagues and enterprise by addressing the essential enabling requirements identified by the respondents in this study. The incentives sought by Incubators and Alumni in exchange for increases in engagement are all of a type which would improve the effective network for IADT and would not necessarily cost a significant amount of money to implement. 5.5.1 Recommendations By creating a number of short-term wins on these ‘enabling requirements’ Kotter (1996) states that small wins create motivation towards the desired culture change. These short term wins should be achieved within a short time frame (this could be within six months) in order to generate results that staff at IADT can see. The final recommendation in respect of culture change at IADT is to seek to anchor the changes in IADT’s internal culture in order to prevent a common problem with culture change, recidivism. The internal culture of organisations often determines what gets prioritised and done. Therefore the President should prioritise quantitative reports on ‘effective enterprise engagement’ for presentation at all key monthly internal meetings of senior management. Another recommended small step towards the strategic goal of deepening long-term relationships towards ‘actual collaboration’ would be to respond to the wishes of Incubators and Alumni for greater interaction with the research work of IADT Staff. This could be achieved by organising an annual IADT showcase dedicated solely to all relevant IADT research for enterprise with invitations issued to all Alumni, Incubators and other interested parties in the area of enterprise.
  117. 105 Finally it is recommended that the President and senior

    staff at IADT lead by example in the practice of effective enterprise engagement. Kotter (1996) states that in creating the conditions for culture change the organisation’s leader has a disproportionate role in creating the circumstances for positive outcomes through their personal example and commitment. The presidents of other IoT’s are frequently seen in the boardrooms of multinationals and SME businesses ‘selling’ the services of their IoTs, touring enterprises with a ‘kitbag’ of successful case studies and testimonials from satisfied enterprise clients. They reinforce this by featuring testimonials from enterprise clients on their websites thereby further engendering an internal culture that is committed to genuine, professional engagement with enterprise. 5.6 Implications for Theory/Policy/ Practice An implication which arises for practice in the area of the Third Mission activities of HEI’s is that policy objectives may need to be re-considered. There are capability limits to academics which are not sufficiently recognised in current expectations for multifunctional behaviour by this cohort. In terms of a general recommendation to national policy makers in light of the degree of the challenge faced by HEIs and the reality that culture change will be too slow it is recommended that within the Technology Transfer/External Services offices of HEIs considerable investment is made by government in new categories of professional staff. Individual comments of respondents identify such a need – “In respect of engagement there is a personality type that is needed in IoTs that is not present at the moment Alumni and “They need business men in running the incubation centre. Each of the colleges needs a commercial entrepreneurial person to drive it.”Alumni. The role of these staff would be to seek ways in which non-state income can be increased on a significant scale. This implication is supported by the literature. To address the lack of entrepreneurial minded individuals in academic institutions Pera (2009) recommends the introduction of an entrepreneurial cadre to lead such initiatives within HEIs. Equally Marginson (2011) recommends that a professional office be established within Irish HEIs with a specialised focus on building enterprise and community links, working in conjunction with other units.
  118. 106 5.7 Limitations and Future Study Much of the value

    of qualitative research is its context based relevance and appropriateness therefore many of the findings and recommendations of this study are not capable of generalisation. Furthermore the context and background of the time period in which this study was conducted were very specific. The respondents and the researcher may be key factors in the data and findings that were generated and different findings might have emerged under different circumstances. Furthermore while the respondents were opinion leaders they constitute a small group, particularly in respect of IADT Alumni. The objective of academic research is neither to neither proves nor disprove but to lay the foundations for others to make informed decisions and choices. In terms of future study the absence of clear guidance from the Hunt Report means that everything in respect of Irish HEI enterprise engagement objectives is currently somewhat ambiguous. A set of benchmark measures have yet to emerge from the Department of Education on intensity levels required for the sample activities to achieve the levels desired by the Hunt Report HEI model. Shields and Tajalli (2006) link exploratory research with the conceptual framework working hypothesis. The researcher believes that this study may help provide a conceptual working hypothesis for the enterprise engagement objective of the National Strategy for Higher Education.
  119. 107 5.8 Conclusion The stated IADT mission is to be

    at the forefront of teaching research and innovation at the convergence of the arts, technology and enterprise and to contribute to Ireland’s development as a creative and innovative economy. This study finds that significant internal culture change is necessary at IADT to give effect to the development objective stated externally. IADT’s new President is aware of the broad requirement for culture change in the IoT sector and specifically at IADT. In addressing the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills Curriculum issues in Institutes of Technology in 2010 the President and other representatives of the IoT sector spoke of the need to address the challenges and opportunities society faces through restructuring of programmes within the IOT sector to reflect changing societal needs. IADT presents a very interesting test case for the ambitious enterprise engagement goals of the Hunt Report. IADT possesses all the positive features necessary to prove that IoTs can be flexible, responsive and adaptive in respect of ‘effective enterprise engagement’. This study finds that all senior IADT management, Alumni and Incubators are positive about increases. The new President is not steeped in IADT culture but is very well connected within the IoT sector and relevant decision making bodies. The President has strong allies and supporters in key positions within IADT’s power structure. In terms of the institution itself IADT it is one of the smallest, ‘newest’ IoTs in Ireland and therefore should be able to exhibit considerable more flexibility in successfully achieving the culture change necessary for ‘effective enterprise engagement’ than larger HEIs. It is extremely well served in this goal by the fact that many IADT Alumni occupy key positions in digital media organisations (IADT Careers Advisory Service 2009). Furthermore the IADT annual destination survey of its graduates finds that a high proportion become self employed and start their own companies thus providing further large numbers of positively disposed enterprises to engage with. Therefore it may be argued that IADT is one of the best placed IoTs in Ireland to prove what can be achieved in respect of Hunt’s goal of ‘effective enterprise engagement’. The initiative rests with the new President and the senior management at IADT.
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  130. 118 Appendix 1 - Definition of Terms Actual collaboration: This

    is a measure of genuine engagement or ‘actual collaboration’. It is measured by assessing the degree of engagement across the entire range of potential collaborations (i.e. collaborative research, contract research and consulting) must be examined (Perkmann et al (2011)). The Hunt Report is in sympathy with this view and identifies a broad range of collaborative services that it expects to underpin HEI’s engagement with SMEs. Effective Enterprise Engagement: For the purposes of this study ‘effective enterprise engagement’ is defined as genuinely collaborative activities within an effective network which yield symbiotic outcomes to the participants. Effective Network: The “effective network” is defined by Epstein (1969 p 110) as those with whom one "interacts most intensely and most regularly". Embeddedness: Hunt Report (2011 p. 12) notes that “Outward-facing systems and structures should be embedded into institutional activity” with the objective of “creating a permanence of patterns and relationships of constituents”. Homophilly: In Social Network Theory homophilly describes the positive relationship between the similarity of two constituents in a network and the propensity of a tie being created between them. This propensity increases in line with the degree that the other constituent mirrors their interests (i.e. it is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others). Symbiotic Engagement: For the purposes of this study ‘symbiotic engagement’ is defined as the ability to collaboratively transform technology and other raw materials of innovation into lower costs and new products (Iansiti and Levien 2004) that benefit both parties simultaneously, the SME in, inter alia, increased revenue and the HEI in increased license revenue and other ancillary benefits(Hunt 2011). The key advantage of the presence of ‘symbiotic engagement’ in the network is that it encourages increases in transivity and homophilly thereby creating the conditions for network growth to include larger numbers of participants.
  131. 119 Transivity: In Social Network Theory interactions between different participants

    in a network, and the propensity for this to draw in other uninvolved participants, is measured by transivity.
  132. 120 Appendix 2 Interview Questions Question 1. Please outline engagements

    between IADT and enterprise that take place in your personal or your organisation's direct experience? Question 2. Please outline any obstacles encountered in respect of IADT engagement with enterprise or reasons for a lower level of engagement than you require? Question 3. Please outline the systems and structures which IADT uses in your experience in respect of enterprise engagement? Question 4. Would you be prepared to increase levels of enterprise engagement in respect of IADT and what should be addressed to facilitate such an increase? Please feel free to add any other relevant items you would like to discuss.
  133. 121 Appendix 3 Interview invitation issued to respondents

  134. 122

  135. 123 Appendix 4 Sample coded interview transcript

  136. 124

  137. 125

  138. 126 Appendix 5 Letter of introduction from President of IADT

  139. 127 Appendix 5 Identifying sample enterprise interactions in the IADT

    literature The following table contains the sample engagements noted in the IADT and other relevant literature and identifies relevant themes for investigation in this Dissertation. Table 4: Sample Activities for enterprise in the IADT literature Sample Engagement type Activity/Engagements described in the literature IADT Literature Source Themes identified Guest lectures Play a key role in driving entrepreneurial activity throughout the campus - individuals from companies in the Cube regularly delivered lectures to students in the School. Enterprise Ireland (2005) - IADT School of Business and Humanities (2010) While this develops the enterprise agenda it is also an opportunity to raise the profile of incubation across the campus to a wide variety of potential clients. Resources Leverage the resources of the college computer and science laboratories, meeting facilities, library Enterprise Ireland (2005) This success is based on the enhanced credibility and reputation that the affiliation with a research institution brings to the programme Work Placements Organising student placement schemes Technology departments can provide interns with specialist skills. A skilled talent pool and free recruiting service: Internships can be one way for companies to pre-screen prospective employees without commitment. Enterprise Ireland (2005) IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) There was a perception among staff that the Media Cube benefited from IADT programmes and students, but the School did not profit. Suggested ways of improving relations between the School and the Cube include Internships for students, and companies based in the Media Cube giving seminars to students. Innovation Vouchers Identifying and locating staff to work with the companies Enterprise Ireland (2005) The issue of staff research poses problems; staff are teaching a full week. An Institute wide, creative approach to releasing staff time was needed. Despite time and cost constraints staff have managed to be productive, but the disadvantage was this work extended into weekends and holiday periods. IADT School of Business and Humanities
  140. 128 (2010) Networking Each incubation centre should have in place

    an active and enthusiastic advisory board. The board should be composed of a mixture of individuals in terms of characteristics, background, and skills. Enterprise Ireland (2005) Participation by IADT ENTERPRISE clients on this board. Student Projects The opportunity for students at the host institution in that they can help fledgling clients to conduct marketing studies, develop accounting systems and complete business plans. Enterprise Ireland (2005) The Media Cube’s practical engagement with the real world of business could be an opportunity for the School to exploit. IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) Resources Faculty expertise: Many faculty members may be willing to act as advisers and board members to the incubator and its client firms. Enterprise Ireland (2005) Networks Networking A member of the panel saw potential for the enhancement and development of the relationship between the School and the Media Cube IADT School of Business and Humanities (2010) Networks Student Projects Currently there are companies resident at the Cube that evolved from the School of Business and Humanities and the School of Creative Technologies. The Panel suggested the School of Creative Arts could partner an enterprise project on a Professional Practice module IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) Enterprise Engagement Enterprise Engagement In conjunction with DLR County Board IADT run a student enterprise week each year. States that the School organises an Annual Showcase, in the form of a ‘Business Breakfast’, and this provides a meeting space for student and industry representatives. The Panel was informed that industry stakeholders form part of the Creative Technologies community and also act as collaborators on student projects. The School organises a rolling programme of speakers from industry IADT School of Creative Technologies (2010) Enterprise Engagement and entrepreneurial skill development
  141. 129 throughout the year. Enterprise Engagement Staff acknowledged the need

    for a stronger dialogue with Industry across the School IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) Level of Enterprise Engagement Enterprise Engagement For example, in IADT creative courses in media related areas involve one guest lecturer per week who are typically well established industry professionals. Describe their strategy for industry engagement as Staff told the Panel most personnel in the School are Industry practitioners, Students are linked with an Industry Project during their studies, and/or a Placement with a Research Industry Focus and The Film School enjoyed good working relations with people in the Film Industry. The School of Creative Technologies states that it has a strong and sustainable relationship with Creative Ireland. In terms of Strategic Partnerships the Panel acknowledged challenging times ahead for the School, despite its excellent record to date, and recommend the development of networking strategies, for example lunch meetings three times a year, giving School staff an opportunity to connect with their peers and decision makers in Industry. IADT School of Creative Arts (2009), IADT School of Creative Technologies (2010) Level of networking Enterprise Engagement The Institute might consider the possibility of developing more economic partnerships to bring in funding. Potential for more proactive engagement with working world, Current relationships with Industry could be more explicit, i.e. a Joint Conference. IADT School of Business and Humanities (2010), IADT School of Creative Arts (2009) Diversifying funding streams through engagement Enterprise Multifaceted collaboration was going on IADT School Enterprise Engagement
  142. 130 Engagement between the School and outside industries: o Enterprise

    Ireland/IDA/UCD/IADT o Students and entrepreneurs linked with real time projects o Students business propositions have been top class, such as an IAP with coeliac information for people travelling abroad, and special gloves for arthritis sufferers. Both of these are simple but impressive ideas, and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Enterprise Board have given students from the School a commitment to commercialization. of Business and Humanities (2010)
  143. 131 Appendix 6 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for

    Research Question 1 Table 5 Research Question 1 coding analysis framework Descriptive codes Analytic Codes Sub-Theme * Guest lecture Networking Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks. Mentoring of students* Networking Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks. Course design* Networking Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks. Interview panel Networking Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks. Student Showcase Networking Networking with the HEI to strengthen networks. Student work experience Growth Resources Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth. Student projects carried out for enterprise Growth Resources Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth.
  144. 132 Internships Growth Resources Assembling the resources to ensure survival

    and growth. Preferential access to recruiting top under-graduates Preferential access Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth. Use of resources of lecture halls/meeting rooms in IADT Professional Collaborative Services Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth. Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training Professional Collaborative Services Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth. Use of the Virtual Lab Professional Collaborative Services Assembling the resources to ensure survival and growth. Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise Professional Collaborative Services Innovation collaboration with partners with characteristics of low transaction costs Innovation Voucher Professional Collaborative Services Innovation collaboration with partners with characteristics of low transaction costs *The questions and categories are constructed from the perspective of enterprise (even to the internal IADT Staff at IADT). This is due to the fact that the research question concerns the requirement of HEIs to engage with enterprise.
  145. 133 Descriptive code Sub-theme Analytic code Academic/Management staff As a

    % of this popula tion Business Owning Alumni As a % of this populati on Incubation Centre As a % of this populati on Tota l % P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P1 1 P1 2 Guest lecture Strengthen networks Networking x x x x 100% x x 50% x x 50% 66% Student Showcase Strengthen networks Networking x x x x 100% x x 50% x 25% 58% Course design* Strengthen networks Networking x x x 75% x 25% x 25% 42% Interview panel Strengthen networks Networking x x x 75% x 25% 33% Mentoring of students* Strengthen networks Networking x 25% x 25% x 25% 25% Average 45% Preferential access to recruiting top under- graduates Assembling resources Growth Resources x x x 75% x x x 75% x x 50% 66% Student work experience Assembling resources Growth Resources x x 50% x x 50% x 25% 42% Student projects carried out for enterprise Assembling resources Growth Resources x x x 75% x 25% x 25% 42% Table 6. Research Question 1 content analysis
  146. 134 *emerged as a new sub-theme during interviews All percentages

    rounded up to the nearest decimal. Internships Assembling resources Growth Resources x 25% x x x 75% 33% Off Site Consultancy by IADT Staff to Enterprise Assembling resources Growth Resources 0% Use of resources of lecture halls/meeting rooms in IADT Assembling resources Growth Resources 0% Use of the Virtual Lab Assembling resources Growth Resources 0% Average 26% Innovation Voucher Innovation Collaboration Professional Collaborative Services x x x 75% x x 50% 42% Continuous Professional Development and Industry Training Innovation Collaboration Professional Collaborative Services x 25% 8% Average 24%
  147. 135 Appendix 7 Coding Guide and Transcript Analysis framework for

    Research Question 2 Table 7 Research Question 2 coding analysis framework Descriptive codes Analytic Codes Sub-Theme Lack of trust, not commercially aware, long holidays, no credibility, not entrepreneurial, don’t understand, mismatch, too theoretical, Culture Obstacle Culture gap Relevance to academic staff, Academics unavailable, not a priority, bureaucracy, no engagement, ignoring resources, no interest, no professional training, no advisory board, not taken seriously, Time available, complacent, civil service mentality, invoicing confusion, Never knocked on our door, fiefdoms, can’t engage with Business School, interconnectedness, outside college walls Culture Obstacle Disconnect Not necessary for requirements, vocational education neglected, Employment Contract incentives, running shy of this kind of engagement, potential financial rewards to academics, writing journal papers, pay too high, unclear contract, no measurement, Lack of commercial awareness, add value, Operational Obstacle Misalignment
  148. 136 not usable, not properly trained, inappropriate to our needs,

    unsuitable, graduates not aligned with industry needs, Far too slow, quick results, Months to complete, no longer an innovation, physical proximity. Nervous of losing control, IP Leakage, over- valued, bringing very little to the table, IP not shared, Operational Obstacle Collaborative commercial Research In-house, using another HEI currently, Operational Obstacle Competition or competitor restriction
  149. 137 Table 8 Research Question 2 content analysis Sub-theme Analytic

    code Academic/Manag ement staff % Business Owning Alumni % Incubation Centre % Tot al % P1 P2 P3 P 4 P 5 P 6 P 7 P 8 P 9 P1 0 P1 1 P1 2 Misalignment Operational obstacle x x x x 10 0 x x x 7 5 x x x 7 5 83 % Culture gap Culture obstacle x x x 75 x x x 7 5 x x 5 0 66 % Disconnect Culture obstacle x x 50 x 2 5 x x 5 0 42 % Collaborative Commercial Research Operational obstacle x x 50 0 x x 5 0 34 % Competition or Restriction by Competitor Operational obstacle x 25 x x 5 0 0 25 %
  150. 138 Appendix 8 Coding Guide & Transcript Analysis framework for

    Research Question 3 Table 9. Research Question 3 coding analysis framework Descriptive codes Analytic Codes Sub-theme Metrics, reporting, take initiative, capture information, focus, formal, system Systematic System Organised on an annual basis, calendared, structure, on meeting agenda, timetabling, Structured Structure No follow through, Hit and miss, Not on a systematic basis, Little happened, doing a bit of everything, fluid, Un-systematic Un-systematic Nothing came of it, Sporadic, Informal basis, Fizzled out, Ran out of steam, No follow up, Nothing happened, no resources, once off, forgotten Not structured Not structured Individual effort, Voluntary, Individual lecturer, Personal network, friendly, my own initiative Ad hoc goodwill gestures Individual initiative
  151. 139 Table 10 Research Question 3 content analysis Academic/Management staff

    % Business Owning Alumni % Incubation Centre % Total % P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 Individual Initiative x x x x x x x x 67% Systematic x x x X x 42% Un- systematic x x x x x x x 58% Structured x x x x x 42% Un- structured x x x x x x 50%
  152. 140 Appendix 9 Coding Guide & Transcript Analysis framework for

    Research Question 4 Table 11. Research Question 4 coding analysis framework Descriptive codes Analytic Codes Sub-Category Happy to, positive, well disposed, yes, welcome opportunity to, contribute, increase, collaborate, help, use, regular, pro, increasing Positively Disposed Positively disposed towards increased engagement Interfaces need to be right, quality control, transaction costs, learning curve, made easier, caveats, connectivity, re- structure, organising, culture change, careful, too high, customised, Enabling Requirements necessary before any increase in engagement First pick, social atmosphere, relationship, benefit, access, moral suasion, affection, old tutors, enjoyed, old contacts, latest developments, exchange, goodwill, give something back, promoting their company, Business Owning Alumni organisation, networking events, an in, pay, consultants, guest lectures, important people, researchers, personal profile. Benefits sought Benefits sought in exchange for an increase in engagement. Enabling Requirements
  153. 141 Table 12 Research Question 4 content analysis Academic/ Management

    staff % Business Owning Alumni % Incubation Centre % Total % P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P 8 P9 P10 P11 P12 Positively Disposed x x x x 100 x x x x 100 x x x 7 5 92 Enabling Requirements x x x 7 5 x x 50 x x x 7 5 67 Benefits Sought x x x 7 5 x x x x 10 0 x x x 7 5 83
  154. 142 Appendix 10 The Strategic Approach to the Choices Facing

    IADT IADT need to be very clear and strategic about where its chosen areas of engagement will lie and form these into areas of Specialist Industry Expertise (henceforth SIE) areas within each School. Step 1 would involve each School identifying at least two SIEs where they can sustain a long term (potentially unique, at least regionally) excellence and in embarking on the process of identifying those SIEs the direction the Schools might be given is that an SIE: o Must be commercially viable (leading to spill over benefits for activities such as work based training). o Be aligned with teaching expertise located within the School and informed by regional/national SME needs. In selecting SIEs the objective of recruiting client companies to the Media Cube to create a critical mass in that area of SIE will also be a guiding objective for the Schools in their selection process. These SIEs will then shape individual regional training programmes for SMEs and inform student projects. These SIEs will also shape the admission criteria for the Media Cube in order to develop a critical mass of specialist industry projects for academic staff and students to work with.
  155. 143 Objective of this strategy – Achieving alignment and sufficient

    critical mass in IADT’s chosen Specialist Industry Expertise specialisations Figure 5: The process whereby IADT may achieve successful alignment of its Specialist Industry Expertise specialisations Potentially Unique SIEs of IADT Animation ELearning Apps Development Design Cyber-psychology SMEs Needs Training in the IADT SIEs Innovation Vouchers in the SIEs Media Cube clients Are companies in the chosen areas of IADTs SIEs This provides specialisation and critical mass
  156. 144 Why is this alignment important? In order to achieve

    Critical Mass As one interviewee located in the Media Cube stated “My company needs skill sets that are not taught at IADT, what my company does is not really aligned with what’s taught at IADT so there are limited prospects for us using students or interns or Innovation Vouchers with IADT” - Non-alignment of IADT skills, expertise and the nature of the client recruited to the Media Cube leads to a failure to achieve critical mass in key areas and a reduced ability to earn revenue for IADT. There is increasing recognition in the academic sector that, rather than offering a bit of everything, institutions must identify the key areas of expertise that can best support future growth and focus efforts on those areas (Upton 2011). The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 requires that the tertiary sector focus priority resources on a smaller number of challenges in strategically important domains that can be addressed effectively and in which the institution can make a difference. Furthermore greater specialisation around particular niches to improve quality of offerings is advocated by the Hunt Report. Strategy formulation for Academic Institutions Johnson et al state that “strategy is an understanding of the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term which achieves advantage for the organisation in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competences with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations” (2008). While external factors create the dynamics and opportunities of the industry within which the organisation operates it is argued that internal factors such as the combination of an
  157. 145 organisation’s unique resources and core competences creates their sustainable

    competitive advantage. In respect of resources thinking in this area originates from the work of the Resource Based View (RBV) school, the key principle of the RBV is that the basis for the competitive advantage of a firm lies primarily in the use of the assembled resources at the organisation’s disposal. Barney grouped capabilities in the catchall of resources arguing that the firm’s resources include all its assets, capabilities, organisational processes, firm’s attributes, information, knowledge, etc. owned and/or controlled by an organization (Barney 1991). Building on Barney’s work Collis and Montgomery state that the tests of a resources’ uniqueness include the fact that it's hard to copy, its value is controlled by your company, it's not easily substituted by alternatives and it is better than competitors' similar resources (Collis and Montgomery 2008). Hamel and Prahalad (1990) single out competences (knowledge, skills and abilities) from the more inert resources of an organisation to identify the core competences that contribute to sustainable competitive advantage. Hamel and Prahalad (1990) state that a core competence requires the following key criteria: 1. It is not easy for competitors to imitate. 2. It can be leveraged widely to many products and markets. 3. Should make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits of the end product. In considering a methodology by which an academic institution may reach strategic choices the final relevant concept is that of the evolution path of the institution. While resources and competences are the elements that create a company’s strategic capabilities, the strategic choices that the organisation made in the past (or the “evolution path(s) it has adopted or inherited” (Teece et al 1997)) are key to shaping its strategic position. Strategy and the Role of the President at IADT The address of IADT (in conjunction with the IOTI) to the Oireachtas noted that the challenges and opportunities that will face society in the coming decades require education and training that
  158. 146 crosses traditional subject and discipline lines and requires significant

    restructuring of programmes and structures within the IOT sector to reflect changing need (Doona et al 2010). In order to achieve such a significant restructuring the role played by the President is critical. Academic institutions self-organise around their identity. That includes its vision, purpose, guiding principles, values, history, theory of success and shared aspirations. The role of the President is to facilitate the creation of this vision and ensure its implementation. A clearly designed, shared identity allows the organisation to self-organize in alignment with the identity desired by leadership. Resistance is diminished when everyone shares in the identity and understands the benefits of change. The scale of IADT brings advantages and disadvantages, and these must be factored into any future the strategy e.g. the smaller size is an attraction for students but has disadvantages in terms of economies of scale. Therefore IADT’s success as a niche, specialist institute is likely to continue to be a strength. Appendix 11 Analysis of Income for IADT in 2010 































































2010






 















































 Total Income: €23,005,846 Research Grants and Contracts €1,289,542 Bank Interest €251,491 Extra Mural Courses €709,452 Other non Exchequer Income* €346,027 *This item includes: Media Cube Rentals (€152k), Pitch Rentals (€61k), VLab Rentals (minimal), Campus Rentals (€80k), Student Print System (€40k) Library Charges (€6k), Media Cube Sponsorship and Grants (€25k) .