The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 43–74 | Cite as

The development of an entrepreneurial university

  • Maribel GuerreroEmail author
  • David Urbano


An entrepreneurial society refers to places where knowledge-based entrepreneurship has emerged as a driving force for economic growth, employment creation and competitiveness. In this context, entrepreneurial universities play an important role as both knowledge-producer and a disseminating institution. In the literature, several studies contributed with relevant findings. Most of these studies reveal a tendency to use case studies to explain this phenomenon justified by the embryonic nature of the topic field, and with the lack of a robust theoretical framework to understand it. No empirical study, however, has highlighted the interrelations among environmental and internal factors that conditioned the development of entrepreneurial universities with the teaching, research and entrepreneurial missions that they need to achieve. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of these interrelations identifying the most critical factors that conditioned these missions and to this end brings a proposal model to measure this phenomenon empirically in the light of the Institutional Economics and the Resource-Based View. The methodology adopted is integrated by the Spanish Entrepreneurial University Scoreboard to identify this phenomenon and Structural Equation Modeling to analyze the relationships among independent and dependent variables that integrate the proposal model of entrepreneurial university. This research could cover invaluable strategies to bring further benefits to society (in terms of the creation of new business and employment) and, in particular, to educational institutions.


Entrepreneurial universities Institutional economics Resource-based view Higher education Knowledge transfer Technology transfer 

JEL Classification

M13 (New Firms; Startups) L26 (Entrepreneurship) I23 (Higher Education Research Institutions) I28 (Education Government Policy) 



A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2009 Technology Transfer Society Annual Conference (Greensboro, North Carolina, October, 2). We are most grateful to several participants for their comments and suggestions, which have contributed to the improvement of this study. In particular, we highly appreciate comments from Professor Albert N. Link and Professor Sarfraz Mian. We are also grateful to comments and suggestions by two anonymous reviewers, which have decisively contributed to improve this final version of the manuscript. Finally, Maribel Guerrero has received financial support from the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (Mexico). David Urbano has received financial resources from SEJ2007-60995 (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science) and 2005SGR00858 (Catalan Government’s Department for Universities, Research and Information Society).

Supplementary material


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Economics DepartmentAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterra, BarcelonaSpain

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