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Lorraine Skelton

School of Management
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
A study of the industry/university/government (UIG) collaborative project organisation

Research Description
The rationale for the proposed study is the need to understand the unique academic research environment, and to recognise that there is a need to capture this uniqueness in a manner that will support the on-going relationships of academic/industry collaborations. The drivers for the study centre on the significance of project deliverables in publically and privately financed research collaborations, and in particular the issue of how a university can manage its stakeholders with regard to its results. Research is needed in this area due to: 1.Lack of specific project management methods directed to the U-I research collaboration (Barbolla, 2009; Buijs, 2009). 2.Literature which attempts to fit conventional project models into academic research without the use of observational techniques (Kirkland 2010; Hodgson, 2011). 3.The link between initial justification for U-I collaborative projects which lead to their funding, and the method for determining the success of the outcome (Lichtenthaler, 2011; Sullivan 2009). Research aims: i) To identify common themes that define the unique characteristics of these endeavours and the tensions between the different approaches ii) To examine the challenges these present to U-I collaborations iii) To develop a research-informed framework to assist in the management of U-I project collaborations

Research Importance
The research addresses an area of project work that has been given little attention. Large scale collaborations between Universities, Industry and Government research entities, are being given more attention with both government and funding agencies emphasizing their importance. Understanding these interactions is important to all 3 sectors.

Research Benefit
All entities and individuals involved with collaborative research projects.

Personal Description
For the first 8 years of my career I was in architecture before developing my management skills through an MBA. I then moved into project management in Information Technology and through to management consultancy as a Project consultant at Deloitte Consulting, in a senior trouble shooter role on large corporate projects which were not on track. After having children I moved into tertiary level teaching which I have now been in for 15 years between consulting roles in industry. Part time teaching positions have been at Massey, AUT, and now Otago. I hope to develop a permanent role upon completion.

Professor Tim Bentley
Dr David Brougham

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