Can universities truly be entrepreneurial? If so, what are the criteria that allow for the development and evaluation of their entrepreneurial capacity (Hindle 2007)? Scholarly attempts to define the entrepreneurial university within the extant literature are often one dimensional. Few studies seek to map the many diverse facets of which these institutions are composed (Clark, 1998, Etzkowitz, 1999, Shane, 2004). This is most likely explained by the difficulty involved with determining what universities do, how they are organized and whether to evaluate the functional aspects in a segmented or synergistic framework. Yet, there is a practical need to discover, test and operationalize a grounded theoretical model for guiding, creating and measuring the social and economic impacts of 'entrepreneurial universities' to whatever goals they seek to achieve. The authors believe that by using a conceptual framework for practicing entrepreneurship in 'challenged' environments, the classification of what makes a university ’entrepreneurial’ will better enable the creation of more reliable and valid tools for studying the phenomenon.
Proceedings of Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2008: 5th International Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 05-08 February 2008 / L. Murray Gillin (ed.)