Science Parks and talent attraction : a study on the development of Science Parks

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the development of Science Parks (SPs) from the perspective of talent attraction activities. Studies on SPs often address only traditional services that parks provide tenant firms. Thus, few studies have focused on activities organised by SPs to attract talent, and even fewer studies have considered the perspective of SP management (supply-side) rather than tenant firms (demand-side). This dissertation argues that the characteristics of the talent attracted to tenant firms and the SP’s structure, processes, characteristics, and stakeholder relationships influence SP performance. In addition, the talent attraction activities developed by the SP mediate this influence.This thesis relies on five papers, both qualitative and quantitative, written in collaboration with other scholars. This study shows that SPs organise talent attraction activities according to the characteristics of the desired talent and park configurations, such as their collaborations with stakeholders and the level of maturity of the tenant firms. These activities provide tenant firms with access to human resources suitable for their growth, contributing to the performance of the SP.This study contributes to research on the development of SPs by shedding light on how talent attraction activities organised by SPs influence their development. Furthermore, this thesis presents talent attraction as a conceptual element and proposes a model that includes the influence of talent attraction in a supply-side perspective and as a mediator of SP performance.Finally, this thesis recommends that SP managers support tenant firms of all maturity in the search for qualified professionals, facilitate the entry process of talents and firms from abroad, strengthen ties with the local university and student community and promote a creative, enterprising and innovative environment.

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