How industry projects can stimulate academic engagement: An experimental study among U.S. engineering professors

Thomas Clauss (Lead Author), Patrick Spieth, Christian Klusman, Wunnam Basit Issah, Tobias Kesting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Technology transfer remains one of the key functions of universities, seen with the growing importance attached to interactions between them and industry partners. Relying on self-determination theory (SDT), we develop a framework comprising the core motivational factors inherent in the design of industry projects and individual determinants which influence a professor’s willingness to engage in industry interaction activities. Based on a conjoint experiment among 250 U.S. professors in engineering sciences, our findings suggest that motivational incentives shape a professor’s disposition towards industry interaction. We additionally provide further insight into how intrinsic motivational structures towards industry engagement are moderated by individual characteristics, including the short-term orientation of professors towards industry activities. Our results contribute to research on university-industry interactions by developing deeper insights into the motivational structures of individual researchers. We also provide practical insights for university administrators and industry managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-101
Number of pages28
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • University-industry interactions
  • academic engagement
  • extrinsic motivation
  • intrinsic motivation
  • self-determination theory

Cite this