Academic entrepreneurship (re)defined: Significance and implications for the scholarship of higher education

Matthew M. Mars, Cecilia Rios-Aguilar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Over the past several decades higher education scholars have conducted a significant amount of research aimed at understanding the implications of enhanced interactions between the academy and the private marketplace. Accordingly, a voluminous literature that includes conceptualizations and discussions of academic entrepreneurship has emerged. This paper used content analysis to examine how researchers have conceptualized entrepreneurship in five leading higher education journals. The analysis revealed notable patterns in the application of theoretical and conceptual frameworks of entrepreneurship to higher education phenomena, as well as observable distinctions in how entrepreneurial models are applied in specific organizational, institutional, and geographical contexts. Results suggest that there is a paucity of attention paid to the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of entrepreneurship within higher education scholarship. We introduce a framework for strengthening the application of entrepreneurial models to higher education research that is grounded in the theoretical constructs of entrepreneurship as articulated in the economic and management literatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-460
Number of pages20
JournalHigher Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Comparative research
  • Content analysis
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Theoretical frameworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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