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Academic Entrepreneurialism and Changing Governance in Universities. Evidence from Empirical Studies

Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY,volume 47)

Abstract

Entrepreneurial universities are increasingly important points of reference for international and European-level policy discussions on reforming higher education systems, and especially on a shift in its financing towards more self-reliance and its secure sustainable development in competitive environments. The chapter analyzes academic entrepreneurialism as emerging from recent European comparative (theoretical and empirical) studies. It outlines the theoretical (and ideological) “modernization agenda” of European universities promoted by the European Commission. Case studies of selected European institutions show that the modernization processes in question (and their emphasis on academic entrepreneurialism widely understood) have already been in progress in numerous institutions in different systems across Europe. The case studies also stress the pivotal role of changing governance at most entrepreneurially-oriented European universities.

Keywords

  • Academic entrepreneurialism
  • Entrepreneurial universities
  • European universities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial self-reliance
  • Revenue generation
  • University governance
  • University management

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Notes

  1. 1.

    As Williams (2009: 9) summarized his conclusions from EUEREK-studied institutions in seven countries: “any organization with an assured income at a level that is adequate in relations to its needs and aspirations has little motivation to undertake risky innovations. … Financial stringency and financial opportunities have been the main drivers of entrepreneurial activity in the case study institutions”.

  2. 2.

    References to the case studies in this paper will have the following format: EUEREK case studies: the name of the institution, the country, page number

  3. 3.

    Institutions are able to attract and keep their staff for a variety of reasons, not only mercantile ones (the same arguments hold for technology transfer activities in universities, see a study by Lam (2011) on three types of motivations of academic scientists to engage in research commercialization: “gold”, “ribbon”, and “puzzle”). As Florida and Cohen (1999: 606) noted along similar lines, “smart people do not necessarily respond to monetary incentives alone; they want to be around other smart people”.

  4. 4.

    Another, more fundamental, issue related to income generation was raised two decades ago (Williams 1992: 46–47): “dilemmas occur when staff are employed specifically for income generation as, for example, employees of academic companies. … If contract work is treated as being equivalent to the more traditional academic work this implies a recognition that the university as it has developed over the past century at least has irrevocably changed”. And this is the point made by such different authors as Slaughter and Leslie 1997; Slaughter and Rhoades 2004; Marginson and Considine 2000; Marginson 2000, or, today almost historically, Newson and Buchbinder 1988.

  5. 5.

    The EUEREK case studies included 27 universities from 7 European countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden Poland, Moldova, and Russia) and they were prepared within the project “European Universities for Entrepreneurship – Their Role in the Europe of Knowledge” (2004–2007), coordinated by the Institute of Education, University of London (Michael Shattock, Gareth Williams, and Paul Temple). The 27 case study institutions were the following: Helsinki School of Economics, University of Lapland, and University of Tampere in Finland; Balti State University, Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Moldova State University and Trade Cooperative University of Moldova in Moldova; Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Academy of Hotel Management and Catering Industry in Poznan, and Poznan University of Economics in Poland; Baikal Institute of Business and International Management of Irkutsk University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and Institute of Programming Systems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, University of Pereslavl in Russia; Cardenal Herrera University, Miguel Hernandez University, Technical University of Valencia, University of Alicante, University Jaume I of Castellon, and University of Valencia in Spain; Lund University, Jönköping University, Umea University, and Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Buckingham, University of Nottingham, and University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom. The authors of case studies were: Jenni Koivula for Finland, Petru Gaugash and Stefan Tiron for Moldova, Marek Kwiek for Poland, Stefan Filonovich for Russia, the Valencia CEGES team led by José-Ginés Mora for Spain, Bruce H. Lambert, Aljona Sandgren, and Gorel Stromquist for Sweden, and Gareth Williams, Michael Shattock, Rosa Becker and Paul Temple for the United Kingdom. I would like to express his gratitude to the whole international EUEREK research team; the responsibility for all limitations and mistakes of this paper rests entirely with him. This paper draws from Chapter 5 of my book Knowledge Production in European Universities. States, Markets, and Academic Entrepreneurialism (Frankfurt am Main and New York: Peter Lang, 2013).

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Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Research Council (NCN) through its MAESTRO grant DEC-2011/02/A/HS6/00183.

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Kwiek, M. (2016). Academic Entrepreneurialism and Changing Governance in Universities. Evidence from Empirical Studies. In: Frost, J., Hattke, F., Reihlen, M. (eds) Multi-Level Governance in Universities. Higher Education Dynamics, vol 47. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32678-8_3

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