Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Budgets are shrinking in higher education, and greater financial accountability is simultaneously being demanded of universities. One of the consequences is that internal funding for research is more difficult to access than in years past. In such an environment, corporate sponsorship is an alternative that must be considered. In this article, we describe the forces compelling business schools to seek corporate sponsorship for research. Then, we discuss why some business faculty may perceive undesirable constraints in corporate-sponsored research. We also describe the challenges that researchers often need to address in order to secure corporate sponsorship and take full advantage of it. We conclude by describing some of the implications of this paradigm shift in research funding. When corporate funding is accessed and the relationship with the sponsoring organization is managed well, incentives are aligned among researchers, universities, and corporations. Benefits also include the development of new knowledge, solutions to real-world business problems, funding for researchers and universities, enhanced teaching, and a clear demonstration of the value of academic research.