Identifying groups of entrepreneurial activities at universities

Daniel Fuller, David Grant Pickernell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Purpose - To identify whether the entrepreneurial activities of Universities in the UK can be statistically grouped together.

    Methodology - Performing a Principle Component Analysis (PCA) of the 2009/10
    UK Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCIS) data
    for the third stream activities of Universities in the UK. This paper aims to identify whether the entrepreneurial activities of Universities in the UK can be statistically grouped together.

    Findings - The PCA of the 144 included institutions identified 4 groups of
    entrepreneurial activities being engaged in by Universities in the UK. 3 of the 4
    groups were related to spin-offs, labelled as “Staff Spin-off Activity”, “Non-HEI
    Owned Spin-Off Activity” and “Graduate Start-up Activity”. The remaining factor has been named “University Knowledge Exploitation Activity (UKEA)” and encompasses a wide range of university knowledge creation, exchange and exploitation activities.

    Research Limitations and Implications - The research indicates, through a
    ranking system for each university for the various groups of entrepreneurial activities, that Universities are often entrepreneurial in just 1 or 2 of the groups of entrepreneurial activities identified by the PCA. Identifying what is causing those differences is required to further understand why we see this variation across the HE sector.

    Originality - The use of a PCA to identify groups of entrepreneurial activities is a
    novel approach. Typically studies use a select few indicators, such as spin-offs or patents to analyse the entrepreneurial activities of Universities. This study uses PCA to group together statistically related activities which can then be used to identify what is driving these groups of activities in future studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-190
    JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
    Issue number1
    Early online date14 Nov 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


    • Entrepreneurial university
    • Principal Component Analysis
    • Spin-Offs
    • Knowledge Exploitation
    • Rankings


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