Crossing an Imaginary Crevasse - How do Academic Entrepreneurs Make Sense of a Business Project? Author: Martin Hannibal Abstract This paper employs a qualitative case study that includes think aloud protocol techniques to explore the displayed entrepreneurial behavior of novice and seasoned academic founders through two dimensions. Firstly the paper explores how the introduction of a commercial environment influences academic founder’s values and norms. Secondly the logics evoked by novice and seasoned academic entrepreneurs are compared. We contribute to extant research by honing in on how exogenous role demands are incorporated in academic entrepreneur’s role identity and how these transformations influence the evoked logics that circumscribe their entrepreneurial behavior. The findings suggest that academic role identities are persistent compounding to a barrier to new venturing for novice academic entrepreneurs while seasoned entrepreneurs perceive their academic identity as a valuable resource in enacting their new venture. Key words University spin-off, Founder, Sensemaking, Behavior, Think aloud protocol __________

Martin Hannibal is a researcher at the department of Marketing and Management (University of Southern Denmark) where his research is focusing on university entrepreneurship, especially the spin-off phenomenon. Martin has a background in philosophy in which he holds an MSc degree. Martin has experience in teaching both in undergraduate, graduate and

post graduate programs at the department of Marketing and Management. He has been a reviewer for the International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal and is currently a member of CINet. Martin has presented his research at various entrepreneurship and innovation conferences and workshops in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Portugal. He has been published in both International Business and Economics Review and The E-business Review. Introduction The role of the universities in society has been debated vividly throughout the last decades (Wright, Clarysse, Mustar, & Lockett, 2007). Scholars in the field have argued the importance of knowledge and technology transfer from the university sector onto the commercial industry as this is perceived vital to stay competitive in an increasingly globalized world (Shane, 2004). Consequently university entrepreneurship has received much awareness in research during the last three decades (Etzkowitz, 1989; Roberts & Peters, 1981) compounding to an exponential rise in the volume of articles, anthologies, etc addressing the subject (Rothaermel, Agung, & Jiang, 2007). Areas such as patenting strategies (Owen-Smith & Powell, 2001), tech-transfer and licensing (Thursby & Thursby, 2002) has been extensively researched along with the productivity of (university) technology transfer offices ((U)TTO) (Siegel, Waldman, & Link, 2003). The potential of universities being the drivers of regional development have been research to uncover how technology transfer policies can maximize their effect on the society surrounding the universities (JonesEvans & Klofsten, 1997).

One of the sub-fields in this large and wide spanning body of literature has centered the attention around university spin-offs (USO); that is new ventures that exploit commercially

some knowledge, technology or research result developed within a university (Pirnay, Surlemont, & Nlemvo, 2003). Different aspects of the process of spin-off activities have been addressed such as programs or „nurseries‟ to support the growth and establishment of USO‟s (Aguirre, Parellada, & Campos, 2006; Jain, George, & Maltarich, 2009). Outcomes of different incubations strategies have been studied in respect to survival rates of university spin-off (Phan, Siegel, & Wright, 2005) and overall spin-off activities (Phan, Siegel, & Wright, 2005; Shane & Stuart, 2002) have been researched thoroughly. In the dominant part of these studies on university spin-offs, authors have been preoccupied by examining correlations between strategies to increase the number of spin–outs and the survival rate of the resultant spin-offs (Clayman & Holbrook, 2003; Aguirre, Parellada, & Campos, 2006; Markman, Gianiodis, Phan, & Balkin, 2004)

Concurrently though, it has been stressed that much of this research has excluded the most prominent element in the creational process of new venture – the individual founder(s) (Mitchell et al., 2002). It has been argued the failure to clearly distinguish the unique contributions from the individual entrepreneur to the entrepreneurial process through past “entrepreneurial personality” based research – resting on the work of Schumpeter (1934) – has generated a vacuum within the entrepreneurship literature that has been waiting to be filled (Mitchell et al., 2002:p93). From this standpoint authors have suggested to apply ideas and concepts from cognitive science and psychology to further the understanding of how and to which degree the individual entrepreneur influences the entrepreneurial process (Jain, George, & Maltarich, 2009; Seawright, Mitchell, & Smith, 2008)

However this type of study comes with its own set of problems. As an example of this leading authors in the field of entrepreneurship have observed that founders seem

disturbingly good at telling coherent stories about their entrepreneurial successes and failures and connect these to how their businesses came about (Shane 2004; Sarasvathy 2008). This poses a problem in researching start-up process focusing on founder experience both when approaching the subject through qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Consequently a study focused on academic founders carried through via interviews bears the risk of reporting on fabricated (deliberately or not) start-up stories. However think aloud protocols (Ericsson and Simon 1984) have been suggested as a viable research tool to bypass this tendency (Sarasvathy, Simon, & Lave, 1998). Aim of the paper This paper aims to explore the displayed behavior of novice and seasoned academic entrepreneurs. Extant research (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2009) argues a discrepancy is to be expected in the logics evoked comparing the behavior of novice academic entrepreneurs to seasoned individuals. In addition hereto and following an approach inspired by Ibarra (1999) we will explore how academic founders accommodate exogenous role demands stemming from a new context (a commercial environment). We contribute to extant research by honing in on how exogenous role demands are incorporated in academic entrepreneur‟s role identity and how these transformations influence the evoked logics that circumscribe the displayed entrepreneurial behavior. Theoretical founding: Entrepreneurial behavior – creating opportunities Much traditional entrepreneurship research has been rooted in the works of Schumpeter (1934) and Kirzner (1979; 1997). In their seminal works creativity which leads to discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities is thought to stem from personal traits held by specially endowed and highly alert individuals (Casson, 2003). Their thoughts on opportunity recognition have formed a dominant entity of theories and concepts which circumscribes an

epistemology to entrepreneurship research. In a review of this literature Alvarez & Barney (2010) has dubbed perspectives adopting this Austrian inspired approach to entrepreneurship „the discovery approach‟. Entrepreneurship scholars advocating this epistemology adopts the assumption that, opportunities are formed by exogenous shocks to preexisting industries. These shocks can be caused by changes in technology, changes in consumer preferences, changes in demographics, and so forth (Shane, 2003; Kirzner, 1979).

There is a growing consensus on the definition of what constitutes an opportunity in the entrepreneurship literature (Alvarez & Barney, 2010). Known authors in the field argue that an opportunity exists whenever there are competitive imperfections in a factor or product market. In other words opportunities exist when the conditions necessary for perfect competition in a market do not exist (Barney, 1986; Venkataraman, 1997). Discovery approaches to entrepreneurial opportunities assume that the essence of (entrepreneurial) opportunities is characterized as objectively real (Venkataraman, 1997). However one thing is for opportunities to exist, but it is an entirely different matter for them to be discovered and exploited. The exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities is orchestrated by objectively different (ex ante) individuals (Casson, 2003). The discovery approach holds the assumption that entrepreneurs are less risk adverse than other (normal) individuals. Thus entrepreneurs are more prone to adapt their behavior towards new yet to be discovered markets. The theoretical stance in these works implies that, the discovery of opportunities is considered to be an event whereas the later exploitation is a process (Shane, 2000). Accordingly the individual entrepreneur brings an agency of opportunity to the mix. However this is brought only to exploit the opportunities not to form them through a creative process (Shane & Stuart, 2002). This definition is problematic in respect to emerging markets and fast evolving industries such as bio-, computer and life science related industries. In these industries it

seems that new markets are "created" as new technologies emerge. This calls into question if opportunities are in fact the result of market disequilibrium or if the enactment of opportunities creates new markets (Sarasvathy & Dew, 2005).

This controversy has prompted a discussion of the applicability of concepts and theories from strategic management in entrepreneurship studies. In the seminal work of Cyert & March (1963) the behavior of established firms is explained within an environment of well-defined markets, stakeholder relationships, technologies, and so on. It is argued that firms manage expectations of outcomes in accordance to existing market. The approach suggested by Cyert & March (1963) have had a pronounced impact on management literature and entrepreneurship research since it was published (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2008). The theory predicts behavior that circumscribes decision making of the entrepreneur that involves well-structured and specific (ex ante) goals to be achieved (Sarasvathy, 2003). This theoretical stance advances strategic decision making in the firm (taken by the entrepreneur) through concepts such as political goals, bounded rationality and adaptive behavior. However the theory‟s applicability presumes the existence of a well defined market, which in entrepreneurship studies is often not the case (Sarasvathy, Dew, Velamuri, & Venkataraman, 2005). In addition to this recent research has questioned if management of expectations is always linked to causal logics, which again is connected to traditional strategic management of the firm (Read et al., 2009). It has been argued that firms embedded in volatile industries often displays divergent behavior to the logics described by Cyert and March (1963). Consequently prominent entrepreneurship scholars (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2008) have put forth an outline of the behavior enacted by these entrepreneurial firms dubbing the behavior they enact 'entrepreneurial behavior'. This divergent type of behavior is introduced as an antecedent from employing effectual logics to the business start

up process (Sarasvathy, 2001). Rather than advancing strategic decision making in the firm through concepts such as political goals, bounded rationality and adaptive behavior Dew et al (2008) argues that the behavioral characteristics of firm emerged in a fast evolving environment has to be described through; commitment under ambiguity, control through nonpredictive strategies and exaptive orientation. These terms are thought to substitute the characteristic described by Cyert and March (1963) in new firms gestating in highly volatile industries. Accordingly firms – and individuals for that matter – using causal and adaptive approaches make very different decisions about the value and use of resources than firms using an effectual and exaptive approach (Sarasvathy, 2008). Exaptive behavior can be defined as the utilization of a technology, a structure etc in a way diverging from its intended (ex ante) use (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2008).

Following this line of thoughts opportunity discovery is positioned not as a mere event – a discovery. On the contrary the „discovery‟ is conceptualized as a creative process in which the entrepreneur enacts his environment to form or create the entrepreneurial opportunity (Alvarez & Barney, 2007). This implies that entrepreneurial opportunities are not formed by exogenous shocks to preexisting industries, but are instead formed by the actions of entrepreneurs themselves (Sarasvathy, 2008; Ardichvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 2003; Sarasvathy & Dew, 2005). This creative approach to entrepreneurial opportunities does not by necessity imply the rejection of an object reality. The process of creating opportunities involves both prior beliefs held by the entrepreneur about the environment in which they are set and their available resources such as knowledge and networks (Sarasvathy, 2001). Through enactments of these entities opportunities emerge that are ultimately exploited (Weick, 1979). In this sense, creation opportunities do not exist until they are enacted however the objectivity of their antecedents is not brought into question (Gartner, 1985;

Sarasvathy, Dew, Velamuri, & Venkataraman, 2003). In their presentation of the creational approach Alvarez & Barney (2010) adopts the vocabulary of the discovery approach thereby adding ambiguity to the presentation. They argue that 'early efforts to form creation opportunities will typically be quite myopic' (Alvarez & Barney, 2010:p11). Accordingly Alvarez & Barney (2010) overlooks one of the most prominent differentiators between the creational and discovery approach that is the aspect pro-activity which is central to the creational approach (Sarasvathy, 2001). Recent research has question if the use of causal logics (adaptation) describes the plan of attack for entrepreneurs. Sarasvathy (2008) elegantly illustrates that expert entrepreneurs are not preoccupied with future ends. Instead these individuals are occupied in making sense of the present settings aiming at controlling present means. In other word it is not the aim of these individuals to see the end of an opportunity in the making (Sarasvathy, Dew, Velamuri, & Venkataraman, 2003). Thus, as myopic as this may seem the behavioral patterns displayed by the entrepreneur is the consequence of applying effectual logics (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2009) to a volatile environment recognizing that forecasting the future is impossible (Goodman, 1983). Identity transition as a factor in business start ups “Career transitions [are] said to trigger new encounters through which one learns to construe one’s actions and the actions of others in terms of appropriate for a person in one’s new standing.” (Barley, 1989)

In studying the behavioral pattern of firms – entrepreneurial or not – and their founders it has frequently been stressed that the founder‟s individual backgrounds initiates path dependencies from the very birth of the firm. These path dependencies are arguably persistent in nature and will in spite of pressure to conform to industry norms be of strongly influenced

to the behavior of the firm (Dew, Read, Sarasvathy, & Wiltbank, 2008; Venkataraman, 1997; Shane, 2000). In a study on how identity roles influence individual behavior Ibarra (1999) studied junior professionals-consultants and investment bankers navigating a transition from technical and managerial work to client advisory roles. Schein (1978) describes such professional role identities as the relative stable and enduring constellation of attributes, beliefs, values, motives, and experiences to which people define themselves in a professional role. The professional identity forms over time through experience and meaningful feedback. Thus a professional identity is more adaptable and mutable early in one's career. Identities are enacted by people to convey qualities they want others to ascribe to them. Concurrently the role identity needs to give meaning to the internal audience (Merton, 1968). Thus role identity provides guidance to the individual in a broad sense as to what ought to be expected in specific situations. As the role becomes tied closer to the self individual behavior in accordance to the role identity becomes the more likely (Mead, 1934; Barley, 1989). Some of the qualities held by the role identity may be very well defined, other may be incongruent with their self conceptions and some may even remain to be elaborated on through experience (Schein, 1978). Ibarra (1999) argues that people adapt to new professional roles by experimenting with images that serve as trials for possible but not yet fully elaborated professional identities. These provisional selves bridge the gap between their current self conceptions and the perception they have about the new roles associated attitudes and behaviors (Ibarra, 1999).

As such new roles require a set of new skills, behaviors, attitudes, and patterns of interactions. Consequently fundamental changes in an individual's self-definition are created to tackle with the new embeddedness (Hill, 2003; Schein, 1978). This is a negotiated adaptation in which individuals strive to improve their identity to fit into the new context

while still holding on to their core self-definition (Schein, 1978). Dutton and Dürkerich illustrate this process on an organizational level in their 1991 paper. Drawing on a sensemaking approach (Weick, 1995) their case hones in on the transformation associated to and emerging issues concerning homeless' use of unoccupied building s owned by the P.A.. P.A: slowly accommodates the external demand to actively attend to this increasing problem. In turn the organization modifies its role definition (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991). Accordingly values are enacted to support this new role identity while core values are kept intact by reenacting their contents. Following the thoughts of Ibarra (1999) Jain et al (2009) observed that scientists involved in commercial activities such as new venturing invoke rationales for their involvement that are congruent with their academic role Identity. To span the two worlds, which are argued to differ in essence (Merton, 1968) the entrepreneurial scientist typically adopt a hybrid role identity that compromising both academia – usually as a focal entity – and a secondary commercial identity (Jain, George, & Maltarich, 2009). However their study neither yield any insight on difference in the transformational patterns of academic entrepreneurs situated at different stages of the start-up process nor does the study address to which degree elements of role identity corresponds to the behavior displayed by the academic entrepreneurs. In addition hereto Jain et al (2009) neglect to report on actual sense in the making which will be addressed in the below by employing think aloud protocol techniques. Theory as applied From the above theoretical considerations we conduct a dual dimensional explorative study on the displayed behavior of novice and seasoned academic entrepreneurs (see the methodology section below). Firstly we expect the seasoned entrepreneurs‟ behavior to circumscribe the effectual logics as described by Sarasvathy (2001). As the novice

entrepreneur adapts to the process of starting up a business they will – following the findings of Sarasvathy et al (1998) – to an increased extend use logics of effectuation. Thus a discrepancy is to be expected in the logics evoked comparing novice academic entrepreneurs to seasoned individuals. However that said this does not by necessity mean that behavior corresponding to effectual logic will not be displayed by the novices since background, job experience, etc will actuate an individual bias towards enactment dominated by causal or effectual logics. Nonetheless the prediction still holds. Since the seasoned entrepreneurs have been enmeshed in new venturing for a longer period of time than the novices they will following Ibarra (1999) have adapted their behaviors, attitudes, and patterns of interactions to a larger extent social context that is the business environment.

This brings us to the second dimension to be explored in this behavioral study of academic entrepreneurs. Following an approach inspired by Ibarra (1999) and Jain et al. (2009) we explore how introducing academic founders to a new context (a commercial environment) influence a modification of their values to accommodate the exogenous role demands. Concurrent to this demand their academic training compounds to a stable and enduring constellation of attributes, norms and beliefs hence an academic role identity. We contribute to the results put forward by Jain et al (2009) by honing in on how these exogenous demands are incorporated in their role identity in turn how these transformations influence their entrepreneurial behavior. Research setting and approach A qualitative case study approach (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 1989; Yin, 1993) has been employed on six Inventor – Entrepreneur university spin-offs (Shane, 2004:p152). The case spin-offs are all parented by the University of Southern Denmark. .

The cases are categorized in respect to the evolutionary stage which they have reached. The first group consists of three university spin-offs in the early seed stage. A second group consists of three mature university spin-offs (see table 1 below).

Table 1 Overview of the test-subjects

Test-subject role Founder/Head Lab Manager Founder/CEO Founder/CEO Founder/Head Lab manager Founder/Head Lab manager Founder Founder Founder

Research background

Case firm*

Firm’s D.O.B.

Bio-chemistry Bio-chemistry Chemistry

Proteinalyze Proteinalyze DN-Artificial

2004 2004 2003

Molecular Biology






Molecular Biology Computer science Computer science

ClickMed ServiWare Audiar

2009 2009 2009

*) All names are constructed to anonymize the identity of the firms

Qualitative data have been obtained from the case firms in the form of archival data and through observational studies, semi structured interviewing and think aloud protocol sessions. The aim of using a variety of data collection tools has been two fold. Firstly triangulation has been attained to secure the validity of the data retrieved. Secondly, since the creation of the university spin-off has been conceptualized as an enactment of an entrepreneurial opportunity, it was paramount to capture the three temporal facets of the sensemaking process through the data retrieval techniques. The temporal facets in the sensemaking process are; past experience (retrospective), present sense in the making (ongoing) and the perception of the future to come (enactive) (Weick, 1995:p61). Archival data consisting of year end reports, press- and marketing materials was retrieved to seize an

overview of the firm‟s history thereby gaining insights to past experiences. To maintain a holistic perspective (Yin, 1989) on the events semi structure open ended interviews (Eriksson & Kovalainen, 2008) have been conducted with the founder(s) of the case firms. To enhance validity verbatim transcriptions were emailed to the corresponding interviewees for verification. The interviews procured insights to how founders made sense of their spin-off venture up until present day. In addition they accumulated insights on founder‟s perspectives on a future to come. Observational studies have been conducted honing in on actual behavioral patterns displayed in real life business setting. These have been complemented by think aloud protocol session to secure comparability (Ericsson & Simon, 1984). Using a think aloud protocol tool (Ericsson & Simon, 1984) the founders of the 6 university spin-offs was confronted with some typical decision problems (funding issues, networking, etc) arising in the context of creating of a new venture thereby retrieving insights to in-process behavior (sense in the making) (Ericsson & Simon, 1987)

The data has been analyzed using constant comparison analysis (Glaser, 1965). The constant comparative method is concerned with generating and plausibly suggesting – not (just) provisionally testing of – properties and hypotheses about a general phenomenon. The ambition was to explore the many facets of the phenomenon in a controlled environment orchestrated by the protocol tool. Following the advice of (Ericsson & Simon, 1984) and using a narrative approach (Flick, 2009) we have grouped the verbal reports, interview content and observations notes relating it to our theory construct. Thus text chunks have been categorized in respect to the two dimensions – logics evoked and prevalent identity. The below model (figure 1) is motivated by this analysis and is set to position each founder in respect to logics evoked and prevalent identity role transpiring from their displayed behavioral patterns.

Figure 1 Typology of behavior displayed by academic founders

Findings Proteinalyze‟s founders have been focused on establishing a distance between themselves and their academic background. In this process the firm has focused on servicing customers with standardized products. Recently however a shift regarding this strategy has been made. In admitting to themselves that they are not businessmen – although they are in business – the founders have found themselves repugnant to letting go on their academic identity. In respect to the logics that are evoked in venturing they are to a large extent reluctant to trust traditional market analysis. Most recently they have adopted an alternative „market analysis‟.

“We basically send out an email describing our new service. Usually it has yet to be finalized… but anyway, we mail it to our customers telling them that we can do this and the feedback from these is what shapes the service. There is no point in testing a market which has yet to emerge to me that makes no sense at all?!” (Founder/Head Lab Manager, Proteinalyze)

The distrust of traditional market research and the focus on controlling the present environment is displayed through the founder‟s use of whom he already knows. The customer database is used as an effective and proactive marketing tool through which feedback is retrieved from customer to shape current product developments. The same effectual logics are evinced in the behavior displayed by the founder and CEO of DN Artificial. However there is an important distinction to be drawn between the two. Although DN Artificial is consolidated the founder and CEO is still employed at the Department of Physics and Chemistry. He has no intention of stepping down from his position as professor to become a full time entrepreneur nor has the founder ever flirted with the idea. Withholding his academic identity the founder and CEO of DN Artificial is also very much apt to evoke effectual logics when making decisions related to conducting new venturing. During the protocol scenario he showed strong antipathy to utilize family ties to secure funding. However the argument for doing so was that utilizing network ties (strong or weak) came down to if involving that person would actually contribute to the new venture. Concurrently the founder stressed that this contribution would have to be perceived as a long term contribution. The founder and CEO saw no reason in involving partners for the sake of some contribution that would be rendered obsolete once the venture got momentum. Comparing this to the displayed behavior of ProxyTool‟s founder and CEO it is evident that the effectual logics are as much a factor as in both DN artificial and Proteinalyze. The founder of ProxyTool does admit to trusting traditional marketing research. However the results retrieved in this fashion are only used as preliminary results which guide product developments in the initial phases. The founder of ProxyTool argues the need of using the people he knows to assist in making the right decisions when committing to these with present means. In addition to the

use of marketing research data in preliminary phases of a product development the founder of ProxyTool does also distinguish himself from the founders of the other matured university spin-offs by enacting a business role identity. During both the interviews and the protocol session there was an apparent absence of references to the founder and CEO‟s academic background. To the extent that the founder has been emerged in new venturing for the same period of time as the founder of the other matured university spin-offs it seems as though the founder has been intend on keeping an arm‟s length to the academic environment which he once identified with. When asked directly the founder explains himself by referring to how his entrepreneurial career has proved to make more sense to him.Although the founder and CEO of Proxy Tool utilize his PhD title – promoting an academic value – he does so to support his legitimacy in a business context. In other words he uses it to legitimize business decisions and advices given to customers. The focal identity is no longer affixed to academia instead the business role identity has gained prevalence making it the normative yardstick for identity fit or not. Turning to the novice academic founders we see the same role identity espoused by ClickMed‟s founder. He dislikes the „bickering‟ he sees in his current university environment and perceives the PhD title as an access card to spin-off venturing. However, the novice founder would rather just go and get things done right away. He is drawn by the impression that commercial activity involves hands-on results and not just „empty argumentation‟ that strands in the bureaucracy of the university. In addition the affirmation of a business role identity the founder of ClickMed displayed behavior evoke by causal logics during protocol session.

“I would definitely go to the bank or some venture capitalist with my idea. I see no point in handing over valuable assets to external partners by offering them a share

in the company for some contribution of any sort… You could end up with nothing in the end you know.” (Protocol session: Founder, ClickMed)

In contrast to this Audiar‟s founder is keen on promoting a flexible business model as he sees no reason to do anything else. However initially, the novice entrepreneur sought to claim patent rights on vital sequences in his software program. As the new venturing process evolved he came to perceive that the pay off of doing so was not worthwhile arguing that it had no apparent fit to his self perception. Initially the founder of Audiar found it necessary to conform and incorporate norms and values associated with the commercialization. Nonetheless he ended up not being content with what it took to succeed in doing so. The founder perceives that doing business is associated with secrecy which cannot be bridge to his academic role identity. We see an analogy to this dilemma displayed by the founder of ServiWare. This novice founder has had and still has difficulties in conforming to some of the new norms presented to him in the context affiliated to the process of starting a university spin-off. Throughout the protocol session he expressed his frustration about the lack of openness in partner negotiation. However frustrating this lack may be the founder perceived it to be necessary if the venturing process was to succeed. Contrasting this we see the founder of ClickMed whose goal is to gain access to spinoff venturing by acquiring the PhD title. He on the other hand has problems with adapting to the norms and values inscribed in the environment in which he is currently enmeshed. Nonetheless both novice founders display behavior motivated by causal logics during the interview as well as throughout their protocol sessions. ServiWare‟s founder displayed adaptive behavior during the protocol session rejecting that he would be proactive towards the development of the product at hand.

“If I was approached by a customer and they asked me to change the product in some way I would of course adapt it… I would not just suggest new developments as my planning is focused on the present product.” (Protocol session: Founder, ServiWare)

This apparent reluctance to stray away from the initial strategic planning is inherent in both founders behavior. However Audiar‟s Founder the last of the novices have dared to deviate from his written business plan. He was motivated to do so as he could not combine his academic role identity to what it took to act out the strategy as planned. Conclusion The findings Indicates that the seasoned academic entrepreneurs all display behavior that circumscribes effectual logics. Figure 2 Typology of behavior displayed by academic founders – founder specific

Summing up on our findings we have positioned the founder of ServiWare in the upper right quadrant of the model (see above figure 2). The founder has clearly established a role identity circumscribing academic values and norms. Consequently he struggles to get to grips with the perceived difference between new venturing and academic work ethics. His behavior is evoked by causal logics as he repeatedly presumes that consulting marketing research, adaptive behavior and strategic planning are necessary ingredients to success. The founder of ClickMed is positioned in the upper left quadrant as he shares the bias towards evoking causal logics to back his decision making. This founder has established a prevailing business role identity as he endorses norms and values associated with the business context above those inscribed to academia. Also we see a tendency in the behavioral patterns of the founders of both, Audiar, Proteinalyze and DN-artificial to push towards the lower right quadrant. This quadrant circumscribes behavior characterized by effectual logics and use of a role identity drawn from academic norms and values. The founders of DN-Artificial have remained true to this throughout the spin-out process while the other founders have strayed away to adopt a perceived to be necessary prevalent business identity role. However both the founders of Audiar and Proteinalyze have returned to the normative roots. During this process they have sought to modify and splint their values to conform to their new social context. However this new found (provisional) identity constituted a gap to their highly esteemed core values and beliefs prompting a re-emergence of their academic role identity. ProxyTool‟s founder diverges from this pattern as he perceives himself no different than any other normal entrepreneur in a high-tech industry. Nonetheless the majority of the sample‟s established university spin-offs has strengthened or has never lost their strong ties to the university environment. Founders argue their close connectedness is closely tied to their academic identity. They still cherish their academic background ruling it a strong point of reference in their day to day decision making.

The group of academic entrepreneurs that concurrently evoke effectual logics and enact academic role identity includes only one novice entrepreneur – the founder of Audiar. This could be due to the lack of entrepreneurial experience to which the novices have been exposed. As portrayed in the finding this novice founder initially tried to master the spin-out process using causal logics. However by virtue of his academic role identity he ended up changing his tactics to a more effectual oriented behavior. Having no experience ServiWare and ClickMed‟s founders does not display behavior that could be attributed to the use of effectual logics. On the contrary it seems that these novices are devoted to employ logics that circumscribe causal logics when making decisions about their business start up. In addition to this tendency it seems there is a strong bias towards embracing a business identity. Although ServiWare‟s founder perceives a crevasse to cross between where he finds himself right now and where he needs to be. However he perceives the crossing of the crevasse as a necessity to emerge as a successful academic entrepreneur. Discussion and Research perspective Insight into how these academic entrepreneurs enacted their decisions and how this enactment incorporate both underlying logics and role identities could help tailor technology transfer support structures to fit „customer‟s‟ needs. Thus more behavioral studies on academic entrepreneurs are called for to gain knowledge on how academic founder deal with and make sense of problems concerning spinning off a new venture which is related to their research area. Think aloud protocol sessions focusing on different aspects of the founding processes could be employed gather knowledge into the cognitive and social-psychological process involved in specific elements of the gestation of a university spin-off such a internationalization, funding etc.

The results from the above case study also suggest that portraying the evoked logics of founder‟s behavior through a continuum would promote a more detailed picture of their actual behavior when coping with new venturing than the above two-by-two matrix allows for. A continuum would allow for depicting hybridization of evoked logics as it is displayed through behavior by the academic founders. However to conduct this study a larger sample is needed to strengthen the validity of data analysis. In addition longitudinal study of novice academic entrepreneurs is called for to map how their behavioral patterns are transformed over time. Do they as predicted by Sarasvathy (2008) to an increased extend display behavior which correlates to effectual logics as their new venture progresses? Secondly it would prove important to report if and to what extend these novices over time incorporate their academic identity in their entrepreneurial activity or to which extend this role identity is erased.

Reference List

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