Date of Award

Winter 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Debra A. Major

Committee Member

Eric Sundstrom


The Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) is a type of partnership between industries and universities supported by the National Science Foundation. These partnerships enable the transfer of leading-edge technology developed in universities to industrial firms. Leadership plays a powerful role in the success of these research partnerships by creating an environment that is conducive to innovation. Directors of I/UCRCs must be able to successfully lead upward, that is, develop and maintain strong relationships with the university administrators to whom they report, to obtain the necessary support to sustain the center and foster innovation. This study uses leader-member exchange (LMX) theory to examine the influence of the leadership relationship on I/UCRC center director satisfaction, commitment, and intentions to quit directing the center. Mediating effects of perceived supervisor support and upward influence effectiveness on the relationships between LMX and these affective outcomes are also examined. Structural equation modeling results suggest that both perceived supervisor support and upward influence effectiveness fully mediate the relationship between LMX and I/UCRC directors' satisfaction with their university administrator, but not satisfaction with center research, commitment to the center, or intentions to quit directing the center.