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  • 1 Department of Public Administration, Kyungil University, Gyeonsangbuk-do 712-701, South Korea
  • 2 SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QE, UK
  • 3 Centre for Science and Policy (CSAP), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 4 Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
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Abstract

What factors influence the relationship between the academic research and the knowledge- transfer activities of academics, in particular in ‘catch-up’ countries like South Korea? To address this research question, after first conducting a critical review of existing theoretical and empirical studies, we put forward a conceptual framework based on the twin concepts of ‘synergy’ and ‘separation’ modes, together with a number of accompanying hypotheses. These hypotheses, along with others that emerged from subsequent interviews, are then tested using various statistical models. After taking into account the specific characteristics of scientific communities in rapidly catching-up counties such as Korea, we find that not only are individual characteristics (such as the gender, age, discipline, and patenting activity) of academics significantly related to the generation of a ‘synergy mode’ (i.e. a positive relationship between academic research and knowledge-transfer activities) among academics, but so too are a number of contextual characteristics (e.g. laboratory size and type of university).

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