Assessment of the best theories of collaboration for conducting academic-industry collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry.
Research question: What are the best theories of collaboration for conducting academic-industry collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry? This thesis assesses the best theories of collaboration necessary to conduct academicindustry collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry. It involved conducting interviews for both, academic and industry professionals, which provided deep and impactful insights about how each side of the collaboration operates and works in union with one another to achieve targets and accomplish project goals. In order to better understand the best theories of collaboration, it was necessary to include the history of what academic-industry collaborations are and the key challenges involved in academic-industry collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry and in other industries. Theories of collaboration were further explored, including how their themes have been applied earlier in academic-industry collaborations in other industries, but focuses particularly on those that functioned in the pharmaceutical industry. The professionals included academic chairs, senior academic professors and researchers, as well as industry professionals. The approach to gathering information was based on a narrative analysis approach, which was framed on the basis of gathering the stories and experiences of the participants in this dissertation study and was interpreted on those grounds. A total of 4 professionals from the academic side and 4 from the industry side were interviewed, wherein their experiences and stories from their career progression in academic-industry collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry was analysed and coded for determining whether the selected theories had impactful contributions for resolving the challenges identified. The findings, including the importance of themes being used in combinations and the prevalence of some themes over others in resolving certain challenges fell in line with the literature review conducted and has supplemented the research objectives and the established research question. The professionals explained what their best collaborations were, the greatest challenges they faced, their history of being involved in academic-industry collaborations and the quantity and quality of their work experience, which enabled them to conduct such collaborations. The theories included in the literature review were applied to the in-depth interview findings, and there was a strong link found between the theories of collaboration and the most successful collaborations conducted by the interviewed professionals. This is an area that still requires a lot more research to understand as to how academia and industry need to collaborate, how should the conduct and mindset of those involved in such collaborations be, and what exactly are the best theories of collaboration for conducting such collaborations.