Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Charles B. Keating

Committee Member

Derya A. Jacobs

Committee Member

Rochelle K. Young

Committee Member

Robert L. Ash


The purpose of this research was to explore the approach by federal/state agencies, university, and private sector consortia to develop and manage commercialization of innovation technologies. The evaluation, support, and management of technologically based consortia has traditionally been held in the private sector. There is a somewhat mature literature guiding innovation management (Utterback 1996; Rosenberg et al. 1994; Quinn 1997, 1992) in the private sector. However, there is an increasing emergence of consortia consisting of universities, industrial/private sector entities, and government agencies joining in collaborative efforts to launch technology based initiatives. These consortia are non-traditional and the applicability of traditional venture models is questionable. The guidance and maturity of the literature for assessment and management of these new consortia is sparsely developed. The specific research questions explored in this research are: (1) What are the major sources of consortia support for innovative technology based new ventures that seem to work? And, (2) What approaches to managing the commercial viability of advanced innovative technology-based new ventures through partnerships of industry, governmental agencies, and universities are effective?

The research used an embedded case study method (Yin 1994) to explore the research questions. Consortia development of technology innovation projects, by a state government agency located in the southeastern United States, was selected as the focus of the case study. Four independent projects launched by the consortia were select as embedded units of analysis for the case development.

The research was conducted in three phases. In Phase I the literature was reviewed and a framework for assessment of new ventures was developed. In Phase II, the framework was used to guide data collection and the formation of the case data base. Qualitative analysis methods (Patton 1990) were used to analyze transcripts from sixteen semi-structured interviews of consortia partners and project documents. The data analysis from this phase produced an embedded unit of analysis summary for each consortia project. These summaries were validated for each of the four units analyzed and added to the case database. In the third phase, the case was constructed and validated by consortia members from the government agency responsible for consortia assessment.

The research produced an in-depth case study for the unique development and considerations for university, government agency, and private industry consortia in relation to traditional assessment models and considerations for private sector ventures. In addition, directions for future research involving the assessment, development, and management of university, industry, and government consortia were developed.