ResearchResearch projects
Erfolgsfaktoren des wechselseitigen Wissenstransfers in chinesisch-deutschen Kooperationsprojekten: Gemeinsame Kompetenzentwicklung in der Forschungs- und Innovationsphase

Success factors of reciprocal knowledge transfer in Chinese-German cooperation projects: Joint competence development in the research and innovation phase

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Ingo Liefner, Prof. Dr. Steffi Robak, Prof. Dr. Michael Beer, Prof. Dr. Monika Sester (all LUH)
Team:  K. Florian Schneider
Year:  2020
Funding:  Lower Saxonian Ministry of Science and Culture
Duration:  2020 - 2023


China’s economy has tremendously caught up with industrialised countries in the last 40 years. Measures to improve knowledge and technology transfer and technology absorption from abroad were an important determinant for growth in the Chinese reform process. From about 2006 onwards, however, China started pursuing a new growth model, which is aimed at a thorough improvement of the national innovation capacity through education, vocational training, science, research and development as well as transfer and commercialisation. This fundamental change has made China become a global leader in innovation. Nowadays, technology transfer is reciprocal, where partners have different, often complementary knowledge available. Different from the mono-directional catching-up technology transfer following a treaded technological path, both partners now enter technologically uncharted waters and jointly have to generate new insights and innovations. Different motivations, capacities and transfer conditions between the partners become relevant, which are to date not well understood. These are about understanding, bridging and utilising of differences in culturally induced behaviour, knowledge cultures, motivation, prejudices, language, communication behaviour, regulative frameworks and personal relationships. Hitherto experiences, which have not yet been systematically evaluated, show that many German-Chinese cooperation projects in science and innovation fail due to difficulties in bridging such differences.

The research association thus examines the success factors of reciprocal knowledge transfer in Chinese-German cooperation projects aiming at a joint competence building in research and innovation. It pursues two goals: first, to analyse the differences in motivation and behaviour of German and Chinese partners, and second, to show how to turn these difficulties into a joint benefit by bridging these differences. The research association thus wants to contribute to an improvement of German actors’ capability to cooperate efficiently and successfully even outside the ’Western‘ working culture.