Organisational Design Factors Enabling Open and Collaborative Research: A Qualitative Study of Transdisciplinary Research in a Public–private Partnership in the Healthcare Sector

Laura Kleinwächter & Lisa Frühstück

Student thesis: Master thesis


Research on openness and collaboration driving innovation has been gaining worldwide popularity in recent literature since it represents the attempt to solve social, economic and human challenges in today’s highly complex and dynamic world. However, research on specific organisational design factors, enabling openness and collaboration in a scientific context, is still scarce and fragmented. Responding to the research gap, the purpose of this master thesis is to reveal novel insights into transdisciplinary research as one concept of open and collaborative research. Thereby, the authors shed light on relevant organisational design factors enabling transdisciplinary research in order to accelerate the innovation potential of public research institutes. To address the research question, a qualitative, multiple case study in a public–private partnership in the healthcare sector is conducted. The empirical findings are based on five cases, comprising 17 interviews with four relevant stakeholder groups and secondary case data. The respective case study derives ten enablers for transdisciplinary research, namely structure and processes, culture, incentive and reward systems, human resources and leadership, intellectual property, funding sources, impact, reflection and learning, sustainability and patient organisation involvement. Yet, their importance differs on an institutional and project level. The resultant framework proposes fruitful avenues for theory and practice, aiming to increase the innovation strength of public research organisations by engaging in transdisciplinary research.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages127
SupervisorsMarion Poetz