Assessing the Impact of University Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Background and Purpose of the Special Issue
University innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems (henceforth, UIEEs) were initially conceived as independent (Autio et al., 2014). We now know that UIEEs are closely connected and growing quite rapidly (Feldman, Siegel, and Wright, 2019). Innovation ecosystems are focused on complex relationships of cooperation, communication, and feedback among organizations (governments, universities, industry) in the process of innovation and innovative performance across countries (Carlsson et al., 2002). Entrepreneurial ecosystems involve a set of individual, organizational, industry, and environmental factors, such as leadership, dynamic capabilities, culture, capital markets, networks, and customers that combine in complex ways (Mason and Brown, 2014). This interconnected
set of actors and organizations determines local socio-economic development (Wurth, Stam, and Spigel, 2021).
UIEEs consist of a mix of educational programs, infrastructure (incubators, research parks, technology transfer offices, business development, and employment offices), regulatory factors (relating to business establishment and property rights), culture
(role models, attitudes towards entrepreneurship) as well as relationships with government, investors, industry, and other socio-economic agents (Wright, Siegel, and Mustar, 2017). Strategically, the university ecosystem has supported the university
community (students, alumni, academics, and staff) in the exploration and exploitation of innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives (Guerrero et al., 2017),while also providing a balanced teaching-learning and research support.
It is important to assess the impact of UIEEs on individuals, organizations, regions, and society. Two key dimensións are scholarly and teaching impact (e.g., development of talent, research production, and transfer/commercialization of inventions),
as well as the outcomes of engagement activities with external/internal stakeholders (Aguinis et al., 2014). In recent years, university researchers have also been urged to address grand societal challenges (Wickert et al., 2021), such as climate
change/sustainability and public health, and to engage in more “responsible” research (Tsui, 2022). Policymakers and accreditation bodies (e.g., AACSB in the US; REF in the U.K.) are also interested in assessing UIEE activities
and outcomes for accountability purposes, since there is substantial public investment in UIEEs.
An analysis of how university leaders have managed the UIEE connection between teaching-learning and research to develop inventors and entrepreneurs to commercialize research is especially timely and important for three reasons. First, the university
is a key driver of economic growth and social change (Klofsten et al., 2019). Second, external shakeouts (e.g., crises and recessions) transform socio-economic landscapes and pursuit of new organizational forms/governance (Guerrero et al., 2016) and
demand sustainable returns from UIEE connections to society (Graddy-Reed et al., 2021). To meet current challenges/opportunities, we require new theories, strategies, and policies to ensure effective governance and management in teaching-research
entrepreneurship and innovation (Crow, Whitman, and Anderson, 2020; Siegel and Guerrero, 2020). According to the literature, innovative and entrepreneurial universities are organizations that adopt an entrepreneurial management style, with members
(faculty, students, and staff members) who act entrepreneurially and that interact with its outside environment (community/region) in an entrepreneurial manner (Audretsch, 2014). Traditional studies tend to take a narrow view of industry-university
relations focusing only on the commercialization of research and on mechanisms of ‘technology transfer’ (Wright et al., 2007; Grimaldi et al., 2011) or analyzing entrepreneurship and innovation as if they were separate phenomenon (Autio
et al., 2014).
The emerging role of a university is dichotomous, focusing on both innovation and entrepreneurship. Universities may contribute to competitiveness and economic growth (Guerrero and Urbano, 2016) by designing/developing their entrepreneurial and
innovation ecosystems to generate societal, technological and economic value via research, teaching other forms of human capital development, as well as the development of new companies and entrepreneurial capital (Guerrero et al., 2015). One
criticism of the literature on UIEEs is that with rare exceptions, we lack clear analytical and conceptual frameworks (Borissenko and Boschma, 2016; Wright et al., 2017).
We also have limited information on (a) how universities have managed entrepreneurship and innovation teaching-learning programs (ensuring diversity and equality of opportunities for the university community enrolled in multiple fields) or outside campuses
(ensuring that the teaching-learning programs are generating sustainable entrepreneurs, inventors or managers) (Crow, Whitman, and Anderson, 2020); (b) how UIEE teaching/research efforts (entrepreneurs/innovators) have positively/negatively impacted
on building more entrepreneurial, innovative and sustainable societies (Martin et al., 2013); (c) how UIEE has effectively supported that other public/private organizations become more entrepreneurial and innovative (Audretsch, Siegel, and Terjesen,
2020); (d) how university schools have actively/transversality participated in the UIEE to be connected to external ecosystems’ agents (Wright, Siegel and Mustar, 2017); and (e) how UIEE have transformed its strategies/metrics due to public
agendas (Audretsch et al., 2022) and how policymakers have transformed their strategies/metrics due to the UIEE outcomes (Markman et al., 2005; Waldman et al., 2021).
For this special issue, we also seek theoretical and empirical research on sustainable metrics of impacts produced by UIEE actors and institutions. We invite researchers from several social science disciplines and fields within management (e.g., education,
strategy, economics, sociology, innovation, organizational behavior, human resource management, geography, and anthropology). Conceptual and qualitative (e.g., narratives, multiple cases, experiments) papers are welcome, but note that AMP is not a theory-testing journal. In line with the AMP’s scope, the special issue papers should make an important theoretical contribution, combined with an appropriate methodological design. Some research questions that authors might address include:
When you submit your manuscript online, please indicate in your cover letter that the paper should be considered for this special issue. Contributors should follow AMP manuscript submission guidelines. The submission deadline is 15 February 2023, and papers should be submitted on the AMP website at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/amp. Do not submit your paper until 15 January 2023.
All papers will be reviewed according to the standard policies of Academy of Management Perspectives. Authors whose papers make it through first-round review will be invited to participate in an AMP SI Workshop, which be hosted by the Global Center for Technology Transfer at Arizona State University in the late spring of 2023. Questions regarding the special issue can be addressed to the guest editors.
Aguinis, H., Shapiro, D. L., Antonacopoulou, E. P., & Cummings, T. G. (2014). Scholarly impact: A pluralist conceptualization. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 13(4), 623–639. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2014.0121
Audretsch, D. B. (2014). From the entrepreneurial university to the university for the entrepreneurial society. Journal of Technology Transfer, 39(3), 313-321.
Audretsch, D., Belitski. M., Guerrero, M., Siegel, D. (2022). Assessing The Impact of The U.K.’S Research Excellence Framework on The Relationship Between University Scholarly Output and Education and Regional Economic Growth. Academy Management Learning and Education, forthcoming.
Audretsch, D. B., Siegel, D. S., & Terjesen, S. (2020). Entrepreneurship in the Public and Non-profit Sectors. Public Administration Review, 80(3), 468-472.
Autio, E., Kenney, M., Mustar, P., Siegel, D., & Wright, M. (2014). Entrepreneurial innovation: The importance of context. Research Policy, 43(7), 1097-1108.
Borissenko, Y., & Boschma, R. (2016). A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems: towards a future research agenda (No. 1630). Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography.
Carlsson, B., Jacobsson, S., Holmén, M., & Rickne, A. (2002). Innovation systems: analytical and methodological issues. Research Policy, 31(2), 233-245.
Crow, M. M., Whitman, K., & Anderson, D. M. (2020). Rethinking academic entrepreneurship: university governance and the emergence of the academic enterprise. Public Administration Review, 80(3), 511-515.
Feldman, M., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2019). New developments in innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(4), 817-826.
Graddy-Reed, A., Feldman, M., Bercovitz, J., & Langford, W. S. (2021). The distribution of indirect cost recovery in academic research. Science and Public Policy, 48(3), 364-386.
Grimaldi, R., Kenney, M., Siegel, D., and Wright, M. (2011). 30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing Academic Entrepreneurship. Research Policy, 40(8), 1045–1057.
Guerrero, M., & Urbano, D. (2016). The Transformative Role of Universities: Determinants, Impacts, and Challenges. in Entrepreneurial and Innovative Practices in Public Institutions (pp. 1-17). Springer International Publishing.
Guerrero, M., Cunningham, J. A., & Urbano, D. (2015). Economic impact of entrepreneurial universities’ activities: An exploratory study of the United Kingdom. Research Policy, 44(3), 748-764.
Guerrero, M., Urbano, D., Fayolle, A., Klofsten, M., & Mian, S. (2016). Entrepreneurial universities: emerging models in the new social and economic landscape. Small Business Economics, 47(3), 551-563.
Klofsten, M., Fayolle, A., Guerrero, M., Mian, S., Urbano, D., & Wright, M. (2019). The entrepreneurial university as driver for economic growth and social change-Key strategic challenges. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 141, 149-158.
Markman, G., Gianiodis, P. T., Phan, P., & Balkin, D. (2005). Innovation speed: Transferring university technology to market. Research Policy, 34(7), 1058–1075.
Martin, B. C., McNally, J. J., & Kay, M. J. (2013). Examining the formation of human capital in entrepreneurship: A meta-analysis of entrepreneurship education outcomes. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(2), 211-224.
Mason, C., & Brown, R. (2014). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth-oriented entrepreneurship. Final Report to OECD, Paris, 1-38.
Siegel, D. S., & Guerrero, M. (2021). The Impact of Quarantines, Lockdowns, and ‘Reopenings’ on the Commercialization of Science: Micro and Macro Issues. Journal of Management Studies, 58(5), 1389-1394.
Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2015). Academic entrepreneurship: time for a rethink?. British Journal of Management, 26(4), 582-595.
Waldman, D. Balven, R., Vaulont, M., Siegel, D. and Rupp, D. (2021), The Role of Justice Perceptions in Formal and Informal University Technology Transfer. Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming.
Wright, M., Clarysse, B., Mustar, P., and Lockett, A. (2007). Academic entrepreneurship in Europe. Massachusetts, U.S.:Edward Elgar Publishing.
Wright, M., Siegel, D. S., & Mustar, P. (2017). An emerging ecosystem for student start-ups. Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(4), 909-922.
Wurth, B., Stam, E., & Spigel, B. (2021). Toward an entrepreneurial ecosystem research program. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 1042258721998948.