In search of the profit-maximizing actor: Motivations and definitions of success from nascent academic entrepreneurs

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Abstract

Scholars have traditionally assumed the establishment and management of university spinoffs are guided by growth and the pursuit of profit. However, few studies have examined the motivations and post-establishment success definitions of entrepreneurs themselves. This paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of the mediating factors of academic entrepreneurship through an in-depth interview-based study of 74 nascent academic entrepreneurs. The results show that academic entrepreneurs define success in a number of complex, interrelated ways including technology diffusion, technology development, financial gain, public service and peer motivations, among others. Furthermore, a large percentage of the respondents have little immediate interest in growth and have instead established their firms to pursue other sources of development funding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-352
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Economic development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • Engineering(all)

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