Academic entrepreneurship – from one template to multiple paths


A systemic perspective acknowledges the variety of inter-related actors and stakeholders in academic entrepreneurship, which refers to entrepreneurial activities carried out in academic institutions. In their book, The New Movements in Academic Entrepreneurship, a group of international authors from Europe, North America and Asia suggest moving away from the understanding of academic entrepreneurs as atomistic individuals or even heroes. In the university ecosystem, the understanding of academic entrepreneurship is socially constructed in a web of diverse actors, varying interests, and multiple activities.

This starting point enabled the production of fresh insights of the nuances of academic entrepreneurship and challenged the single narrative often prevailing in the research literature and the media. The 15 chapters of the book offer new knowledge from the perspective of different university members—academic managers, faculty and staff, and students—and illustrates that several narratives of academic entrepreneurship may coexist in the university ecosystem.

The book provides evidence of how the idealized and restrictive ‘one-version-fits-all’ concept of academic entrepreneurship is not equally open to all members of academic communities. It also shows how moving away from the utopian and dystopian polarizations of the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship can make room for acknowledging tensions, contradictions, and grey zones in this research area.

The New Movements in Academic Entrepreneurship (Edward Elgar 2021) book extends the boundaries of academic entrepreneurship by asking how academic managers in universities adopt and comply with entrepreneurship, how researchers engage in sensemaking concerning commercial activities, and how students negotiate identities as academic and entrepreneurial actors.

“The book offers important insight that will be highly useful for the University of Turku”, says Professor Ulla Hytti. “By understanding better the different viewpoints, it is possible to address the various expectations but also concerns regarding introducing entrepreneurship at the university”, she continues.

The book is edited by the researchers of the Academic entrepreneurship as a social process research consortium from the University of Eastern Finland and University of Turku. The project was funded by the Academy of Finland (2016–2020). The research project at the University of Turku was led by Professor Ulla Hytti.

Further information about the book on website: Eriksson, P., Hytti, U., Komulainen, K., Montonen, T., Siivonen, P. (eds.) (2021) New Movements in Academic Entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar.

Animation about the book contents available by pressing Play under the book cover.

Further information: Professor Ulla Hytti, ulla.hytti[at], +358 40 5409112

Created 07.02.2022 | Updated 07.02.2022