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Call for Papers – Academic Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge and Technology Transfer: How do they relate to Research, Teaching, and Universities as Organizations?

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Aldo Geuna (Torino) & Walter W. Powell (Stanford)

Organized by: Guido Bünstorf, Georg Krücken, and Christian Schneijderberg
(International Centre for Higher Education Research, University of Kassel)


Spin-off entrepreneurship, patenting, licensing and other activities of knowledge and technology transfer from universities to the private sector have attracted considerable scholarly attention. A large number of studies from a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds have investigated these activities. These prior efforts notwithstanding, important questions about academic entrepreneurship, commercialization and knowledge and technology transfer are still unanswered. This conference aims to help develop answers to these questions. In particular, contributions are invited that study how academic entrepreneurship, commercialization and transfer relate to research, teaching (including entrepreneurship education), as well as the nature and development of the university as an organization. Most prior research has focused on the interplay between transfer activities and university research. There is a growing consensus that moderate levels of commercialization activities tend to be complementary to research performance. However, many pieces of the puzzle are still missing. For example, we still do not know enough about the long-term effects of transfer activities on career choices and trajectories. Nor have their effects on the reward system of open science, and the ensuing changes in the competitive dynamics of science, been sufficiently well understood.

Even less is known about the relationship of knowledge and technology transfer and the educational mission of universities. Are there also complementarities between transfer and teaching activities? Can teaching help promote transfer activities, as the recent focus on entrepreneurship education implicitly assumes? And if so, does this come at a cost regarding other objectives in higher education? Organizational changes in the wake of the recent emphasis on knowledge and technology transfer are a third realm of interest. Is the focus on academic entrepreneurship accompanied by more flexible organizational structures and innovative administrative practices in the university? How does it shape university agendas and hiring and promotion decisions? To what extent does it expose universities to the unfettered influence of commercial interests?20

We invite theoretical, empirical and conceptual contributions discussing these and related issues. Submissions are encouraged from all interested research communities, including (but not limited to) economics, higher education and science studies, innovation studies, management studies, organization studies, and sociology.

Extended abstracts of 500 to 1000 words should be sent to The deadline for the submission of a proposal is October 05, 2015

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