Enterprising scientists: The shaping role of norms, experience and scientific productivity

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This paper studies the determinants of enterprising aspirations of university-based research scientists, using an approach which factors in individual and organizational characteristics. Specifically, we provide an understanding of the individual and departmental characteristics that affect the research scientist's aspirations to engage in patenting and licensing, industry-science interactions, and the establishment of start-up companies. Building on institutional theory and self-efficacy theory in combination with human capital theory, we find that start-up experience positively affects start-up aspirations, whereas patenting experience helps researchers to foster patenting and licensing aspirations. At the organizational level, we find that enterprising norms of the research department positively affect the aspirations to engage in both industry-science interactions and patenting activities but not start-up creation. Further, we find that scientific productivity positively moderates the relationship between industry experience and industry-science interaction aspirations, but negatively affects the relationship between patenting experience and patenting and licensing aspirations. Our findings have important implications for academics and practitioners, such as policy makers and technology transfer officers.




Erikson, T., Knockaert, M., & Foo, M. D. (2015). Enterprising scientists: The shaping role of norms, experience and scientific productivity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 99, 211–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2015.06.022

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