Trust Matters in University-Industry Research Partnerships

Event Date: October 9, 2014
Speaker: Lynette Wilcox
Speaker Affiliation: Doctoral Candidate, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
Time: 3:30-4:20pm
Location: ARMS B071
U.S. global competitiveness in innovation depends heavily on successful technology transfer processes.

Academic-industrial partnerships have been fruitful entities for accomplishing the technology transfer processes of research development and technology commercialization. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) encourages researchers to explore ways to strengthen connection points between academia and industry and also to remove barriers to collaboration between them. Previous trust research has found trust to be dually effective in enabling knowledge sharing connections and reducing barriers of conflict and therefore trust is chosen as the variable of interest for studying research partnerships.

Trust researchers, particularly in the context of organizations and inter-organizations, are still grappling to converge toward an agreed upon conceptualization and measurement methods for trust. At the heart of the challenge is a fundamental inherency of trust being an individual-level phenomenon which seemingly has organizational-level influence.  In this seminar, we will discuss measurement and analysis implications of a multi-level conceptualization of trust and consider practical ways for insuring alignment between levels of theoretical orientation and empirical analysis.


Lynette Wilcox is a Doctoral Candidate in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Her work on academic-industrial partnerships was inspired by her work experiences with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for e-Design which is an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) who has supported her dissertation research. In addition to research interests in academic and industrial relations, Lynette is interested in applying engineering management principles in educational contexts.