From divergent meanings to common practices: The early institutionalization of technology transfer in the life sciences at Stanford University

Jeannette A. Colyvas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

The formation of Stanford University's technology transfer program in the life sciences is analyzed from 1968 to 1982. The program evolved from multiple models based on divergent definitions of invention, inventor, rewards, and university-industry boundaries. The eventual program that emerged proved to be widely emulated. The norms of the academy shaped the uses of resources and the conditions of their appropriation. In turn, the currency of industrial science prompted the rethinking of academic norms. The analysis offers insight into the early stages of institutionalization, as the ambiguity of important categories and flexibility of policies were transformed into organizational routines. Today's 'settled' outcomes are the product of highly divergent practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-476
Number of pages21
JournalResearch Policy
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Biotechnology
  • Institutionalization
  • University technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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