The relationship of calculated and perceived distance dimensions in interdisciplinary collaborations: Evidence from a battery research project

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Conference Proceeding
PICMET 2016 - Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology: Technology Management For Social Innovation, Proceedings, 2017, pp. 460 - 470
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© 2016 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, Inc. Innovation collaborations experienced a substantial growth, so that the research interest in factors contributing to successful collaboration increased. One important factor in this context are distances like technological and geographical distance. The distinction between objectively calculated and individually perceived distances provides possible starting points to bridge high distances. Therefore, the study at hand aims to answer the following research question: How are calculated technological and geographical distances related to their perceived counterpart and how do these different distance dimensions influence each other? The data is collected from an interdisciplinary battery research project. The calculated technological distance is measured via a publication-based approach while the calculated geographical distance is defined as the distance between the respective working places. Perceived distances, in contrast, are received via an online questionnaire. The influence model confirms a positive relationship between the calculated distance dimensions, technological and geographical distance, and their perceived counterparts. However, respective measures do by far not entirely overlap, so that the perceived ones are further influenced by factors like e.g. scientific background or shortest travel time. This approach is especially promising to foster social innovation as the awareness of bridging mechanisms might provide avenues to deal with technological distance, which can be assumed to be comparably high in this context.
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