Entrepreneurship and Academic Employment – More Alike than You’d Think

  • Anna Sinell Fraunhofer Center for Respnsible Research and Innovation
  • Marie Heidingsfelder Fraunhofer Center for Respnsible Research and Innovation
  • Martina Schraudner Fraunhofer Center for Respnsible Research and Innovation
Keywords: Academic spin-off, entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer, paradigms of (German) academia

Abstract

Recognising the increasing value of knowledge and technology transfer, the scientific and political communities in Germany have recently devoted much attention to academic entrepreneurship. Seeking to explore similarities and differences between academic employment and entrepreneurship, we interviewed 112 postdoctoral students from the four major German research organisations and 16 senior transfer managers whose responsibilities included spin-off facilitation.

Our findings indicate that those involved in such occupations often believe that academic employment and entrepreneurship differ substantially on many levels. Both interviewed senior managers and postdoctoral students considered engaging in commercialisation activities to be a risky and serious undertaking and a significant career change. Simultaneously, the opinions and observations of postdoctoral students helped us identify a wide range of similarities between academic employment and entrepreneurship. Our findings can help make entrepreneurship more accessible to researchers, re-define the boundaries between scientific and commercial activities, and, ultimately, foster knowledge and technology transfer.

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Published
2015-10-24
How to Cite
Sinell, A., Heidingsfelder, M., & Schraudner, M. (2015). Entrepreneurship and Academic Employment – More Alike than You’d Think. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 10(3), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242015000300001
Section
Research Articles