A. Ravald1, S. Wikström2

1Hanken School of Economics (FINLAND)
2Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University (SWEDEN)
Many studies explore the conditions characterizing the commercial effects of collaborative research, contract research and consulting (Perkmann et al 2013). This study will focus on the process of knowledge transfer of learnings from scientific research to industrial contexts per se, and the key issues that need to be resolved in order for a successful transfer of research results for the adoption and implementation in business organizations.

During the last two years we have been cooperating with The Marketing Technology Center (MTC), a Swedish Foundation with the aim of promoting knowledge transfer between academia and the industry in the area of marketing management. One playground for such academy-industry interaction is created by forming work-groups of business representatives from organizations with similar challenges. Researchers are invited to provide theories and models but also new angles and perspectives. The groups meet for 5-7 full day workshops, which consist of presentations and discussions of firm-specific cases and challenges related to these. Each case is analyzed and discussed from theroretical as well as practical perspectives and potential agendas for solving identified problems are outlined.

The findings presented in this paper address the adoption and implementation of market orientation, more specifically a consumer based perspective on value creation, and are based on the experiences from two such workgroups. It is evident that the adoption as well as the implementation of new insights can be utterly demanding processes for the organization, and will likely be met with resistance (Argyris 1977). Business representatives tend to want quick fixes and the readiness to question the present governing assumptions might for various reasons be low. This observation can be compared to Argyris (1992) ideas of single and double loop learning, where the first relates to minor adjustments of present activities and the latter to revision of the governing principles and values in the firm.

The interaction between academia and industry taking place in these workgroups can be described as a dialogue where both parties can learn. For the researchers each workshop produced valuable information regarding the adoption and implementation of value insights in business organizations. The workshops thus took the role of being a wind tunnel for the applicability of theoretical models created on the basis of our research. In essence, we learned not only how to pitch our models as well the form and content of our message to the business representatives, but also the required form and content of the participants in the workgroups. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to present the key issues supporting both the adoption and implementation of new insights and building ground for a reinterpretation of the present customer strategies, i.e. double loop learning.