Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Defining and Measuring Entrepreneurial Universities: A Study in Iranian Context Using Importance-Performance Analysis and TOPSIS Technique

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Defining and Measuring Entrepreneurial Universities: A Study in Iranian Context Using Importance-Performance Analysis and TOPSIS Technique

Article excerpt

Introduction

Entrepreneurial university, as the third generation of universities, plays a significant role in the knowledge economy. In recent years, a variety of beneficiaries of this phenomenon tried to elaborate the concept, some by delineating and some by defining. While there is a considerable amount of literature on university and academic entrepreneurship, less than ten solid and relevant entrepreneurial university models are offered by scholars.

Universities are in the era of transition. Today, an educational or even research university has a less chance to compete with an entrepreneurial one. This change is so profound that the gap between different generations of universities is widening day by day. A vogue and unclear understanding of the phenomenon may slow down or even disturb the trend of growth and result in inefficient policies. While some efforts has done to consolidate the engagement of universities in industries (e.g. Acworth, 2008; Perkmann, & Walsh, 2009; Bruneel, et al. 2010), the entrepreneurial aspect goes far beyond just this kind of engagement. The Third Mission (e.g. Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 2000; Leredo, 2007) includes the commercially-oriented activities and deals with the entrepreneurial aspect of universities.

As Salamzadeh et al. (2011) mentioned, "... universities and their staffs understood and believed that the gap between their implicit knowledge and market needs should be considered as a critical and vital dilemma. They could not choose the prior trend to reach their new mission any more. At the beginning, so many scholars, researchers and prominent scientists persisted in the face of this challenge, but finally the classical Ivory Tower had no choice but "change"." We present our study in three main parts. First, a literature review and analysis is done to elaborate the contemporary university and its entrepreneurial aspects. Then, methodology is discussed briefly, and at last, our findings and achievements are presented. It should be noted that the principal contributions of this study is defining and measuring the entrepreneurial university in Iranian context.

Entrepreneurial University: Literature Review

Entrepreneurial university is a well-known generation of universities amongst people interested in university and higher education affairs. Today, these institutions are critical factors in modern and knowledge-based economies. As Etzkowitz (2003) analyses the innovation in terms of his "Triple Helix", this matters becomes more brilliant. It goes without saying that the emergence of this generation is indebted to the second academic revolution, which gave birth to their "Third Mission". According to the literature, the third mission includes teaching, research as well as entrepreneurship and aims at socio-economic development (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000; Etzkowitz, 2004; Jongloed et al., 2008).

It should be mentioned that the existing literature could be divided into two categories: the literature on entrepreneurial university, and the literature on university entrepreneurship. These categories are so entangled but there are some differences. In this study, we mainly focus on the first category. Etzkowitz (1983) mentioned this kind of universities as providers of new sources of funds and considered contract researches and partnerships as one of their significant roles. Clark (1998) also introduced the concept of "modern entrepreneurial university" and highlighted the innovative aspect of these entities. With the creative idea is sparkled, Chrisman et al (1995) added creation of new business ventures by academics and students, and spin-offs were offered to be taken into account. University Technology Transfer (UTT), however, mentioned by Dill (1995), who tried to elaborate the university research capitalization.

Others, such as Ropke (1998), Ryu (1998), Subotzky (1999), Schmoch (1999), Sporn (1999, 2001), Poole (2001), Kirby (2002, 2005), Etzkowitz (2003, 2004), Williams (2003), Zhao (2004), O'Shea et al. …

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