Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
19-PM2-06: ST10.5 - the Role of Students in Bridging Research, Industry and Society
Wednesday, 19/June/2019:
2:45pm - 3:45pm

Session Chair: Rene Carraz, Toyo University
Session Chair: Véronique Schaeffer, University of Strasbourg
Location: Room PC 24

Session Abstract

Research issues in the field of academic entrepreneurship have long focused on the involvement of faculty members in the diffusion of academic knowledge to industry and society. Recently the field expanded to include the role of students (Siegel, Wright, 2015). The implementation in many regions around the world of policies to support the creation of start-ups based on university research results (Grimaldi et al, 2011), has led to a significant and continuous development of research on academic entrepreneurship since the early 2000s (Rothaermel, 2007, Schmitz et al, 2017). This stream of research has aimed in particular to highlight success factors for academic entrepreneurship and to characterize the mechanisms of knowledge transfer from the academic sphere to commercial applications (Colyvas et al, 2002, Shah, Pahnke, 2014). The elaboration of alternative strategies based on an analysis of regional weaknesses and opportunities assumes that the contribution from the entrepreneurial university to society is broader than the commonly studied factors such as patenting, licensing, and start-up creation. Its contribution relies on many aspects of academic engagement (Perkman et al., 2013; Filipetti, Savona, 2017) including teaching activities, supervision of PhD students, and student internship and placements (Landry et al., 2007). These activities are complementary to traditional technology transfer activities and contribute to the economic and societal impacts of university activities (Grimpe, Hussinger, 2013).

The evolution of the field of academic entrepreneurship research encompasses a willingness to understand how entrepreneurial ecosystems could mere more conducive to the expansion of student entrepreneurship (Wright et al, 2017, Matt, Schaeffer, 2018, Nabi et al, 2017). In France for example, the ‘Pépite’ program, which allows students to benefit from the status of student entrepreneurs, testifies to this evolution. While 637 students had student-entrepreneur status in 2014, there were 3,576 in 2018 (Graveleau, 2018). This phenomenon has attracted the attention and interest of various stakeholders such as institutional actors, decision-makers, existing companies or academic researchers. However, the literature and theoretical studies on the contribution of students in diffusing knowledge in industry and society, as well as how to build entrepreneurial ecosystems prone to student entrepreneurship are still limited (Autio et al., 2018). Similarly, Schmitz et al (2017), in a systematic review of the literature on innovation and academic entrepreneurship, point out that although the literature on the field has been expanding for about 40 years, it is still fragmented and insufficiently theorized, calling for new research to understand the nature of innovation and entrepreneurship processes in universities.

We invite papers that contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of knowledge diffusion driven by students. The various possible contributions include questions such as :

- the variety of channels by which students contribute to academic knowledge diffusion (placements, internship, entrepreneurship…)

- the specificities of students as entrepreneurs (motivation, detection and exploitation of opportunities)

- the nature of the entrepreneurial projects carried out by students (high-tech entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship)

- the building of ecosystems conducive to student entrepreneurs

- challenges associated with education and student entrepreneurship

- organizational challenges for higher education actors

- international disparities in student entrepreneurship

- how to measure student entrepreneurship

- career patterns and prospects for student entrepreneurs

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Rogerio Tadeu de Oliveira Lacerda, Mayara Lucia Bernardes, Bianca Simon, Anelise Stangarlin

Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil


One of the teaching methods that are gaining space within the university entrepreneurship scene is action learning and the inductive thinking process (Bell and Kozlowski, 2008, Pedler, 2011, Prince, 2004), typical of innovative environments.


This article explores a research opportunity from two little explored analysis lenses, especially in university entrepreneurship (Kassean et al., 2015): action learning, singularity and limited rationality.

The singularity is related to the entrepreneurship so that a startup is worth of a temporary window of opportunity and subjective, also called path-dependence (Wang and Ahmed, 2007).

The limited rationality is the absence of historical basis and dynamic decision criteria (Marafon et al., 2015; De Meyer et al., 2002). Thus, building knowledge becomes a vital focus on startups (Lacerda et al., 2014).

Literature Gap

Academics and practitioners exposes some limitations about traditional methods and its contribution to the development of new skills relevant to entrepreneurs (Bell and Kozlowski, 2008, McCarthy and Anderson, 2000, Pedler, 2011), becoming a promising field of study (Corbett, 2005).

Research Questions

What challenges does the academy face to improve critical thinking in its entrepreneurial students in an action-learning approach?

What are the reactions and alternatives that students present to the singularity and limited rationality in the real-time resolution of a startup problem?


This research uses a qualitative approach to the data collection through participant observation and its results presented in the form of a case study.

This research presents three semi-annual editions of an interdisciplinary project funded by the main government agency in Brazil and develops at UFSC, one of the most important Brazilian universities.

The goal of this practical project is to give students a practical insight into the reality of managing a startup.

The practical procedures proposed by the project are based on the action learning approach with recursive phases of reflection, debates, propositions and data collections.

Empirical Material

The three case studies involved in this research were carried out in one of the most important Brazilian universities and involved the participation of 43 students from various courses mainly related to engineering and management.

Each case lasted from 8 to 12 weeks and was conducted in three separate semesters between 2015 and 2017.

In the first case, a startup with Big Data product was attended, whose main problem was the lack of a process to select market opportunity and improve the sales argument. The solution comprised of the 12 participating students was based on a multicriteria decision aiding methodology integrated with Lean Startup.

The second case was a problem of lack of clear criteria for choosing which projects should be prioritized in a robotics and automation startup. The solution was composed of Lean Startup with multicriteria decision aiding and had participation of 15 students.

The third case had the participation of 16 students who were engaged in understanding the problem of an automation startup, whose problem was the absence of a measurement model of the research and development area, the proposed solution being linked to visual management and multicriteria decision aiding.


From the three case studies, we can analyze some results.

One of the aspects is the fear of failure, provoked by the search for an optimal and generic solution of the problem from the scientific literature or similar examples, typical of traditional learning methods.

The another important aspect is that students understand that the internal organization and learning management is more important than the technical solution itself.

The uniqueness of the startup problem, coupled with limitation of facts and data, led the group to decide more on studies in startup in loco than generic bibliographic research on the problem or the search for similar solutions.

Finally, the solution validation process was more due to the challenge of premises informed by the entrepreneurs of the startups than by mechanisms of statistical or economic validation.

Contribution to Scholarship

This article presents a parallel between the academic world and entrepreneurship, making theories related to entrepreneurship, such as singularity, limited rationality, dynamic capabilities and heuristic decisions, can be discussed with the modus operandi of university education.

Contribution to Practice

On the one hand, students have a practical vision of solving an innovative problem of a startup. The project allowed students to understand the dynamics of a startup, the challenges and decisions in building a business model.

On the other hand, startups are participants in a learning context where entrepreneurs can reflect on their business and mindset.


The results contribute to discussions in the integration between university and startups.

The article has as theoretical construct the singularity, allowing to understand the specificities of students as entrepreneurs.

The article presents three case studies of an active learning project, serving as a framework to building of ecosystems to student entrepreneurs.


AL-DEBEI, M. M. & AVISON, D. 2010. Developing a unified framework of the business model concept. European Journal of Information Systems, 19, 359-376.

BELL, B. S. & KOZLOWSKI, S. W. 2008. Active learning: effects of core training design elements on self-regulatory processes, learning, and adaptability. Journal of Applied psychology, 93, 296.

CHESBROUGH, H. 2010. Business model innovation: opportunities and barriers. Long range planning, 43, 354-363.

DAVEL, E., VERGARA, S., GHADIRI, S. & FISCHER, T. 2004. Revitalizando a relação ensino-aprendizagem em administração por meio de recursos estéticos. ENCONTRO DA ASSOCIAÇÃO NACIONAL DOS CURSOS DE PÓS-GRADUAÇÃO EM ADMINISTRAÇÃO–Anais... ENANPAD.

DE MEYER, A., LOCH, C. H. & PICH, M. T. 2002. Managing project uncertainty: From variation to chaos; Project managers can't predict the future, but accurately gauging the degree of uncertainty inherent in their projects can help them quickly adapt to it. MIT Sloan Management Review, 43, 60-68.

KASSEAN, H., VANEVENHOVEN, J., LIGUORI, E. & WINKEL, D. E. 2015. Entrepreneurship education: a need for reflection, real-world experience and action. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 21, 690-708.

LACERDA, R. T. D. O., ENSSLIN, L., ENSSLIN, S. R. & DUTRA, A. 2014. A constructivist approach to manage business process as a dynamic capability. Knowledge and Process Management, 21, 54-66.

MARAFON, A. D., ENSSLIN, L., LACERDA, R. T. D. O. & ENSSLIN, S. R. 2015. The effectiveness of multi-criteria decision aid methodology: A case study of R&D management. European Journal of Innovation Management, 18, 86-109.

MCCARTHY, J. P. & ANDERSON, L. 2000. Active learning techniques versus traditional teaching styles: Two experiments from history and political science. Innovative Higher Education, 24, 279-294.

PEDLER, M. 2011. Action learning in practice, Gower Publishing, Ltd.

PRINCE, M. 2004. Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of engineering education, 93, 223-231.

WANG, C. L. & AHMED, P. K. 2007. Dynamic capabilities: A review and research agenda. International journal of management reviews, 9, 31-51.

Determinants of Entrepreneurial Intention: An Empirical Analysis of University Students in Taiwan

Neil Chu

Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry Technology and Development Center, Taiwan


Embedding entrepreneurship into university mission to fuel technology venturing is an important agenda in the current knowledge economy, and assessing whether university policies facilitate resource allocation in an entrepreneurial ecosystem is an issue worth investigation. This study examines this issue in the context of students at National Taiwan University.


The issue of “what measures can make an entrepreneurial ecosystem effective” has been discussed in a literature stream on person-environment fit theory for entrepreneurship (Pryor et al., 2015; Markman, et al. 2003). In combination with the foregoing, the study of effectiveness of entrepreneurial ecosystem is also a topic of central interest to a literature stream on intention-based models for entrepreneurial behavior (Kuehn, 2008). On this basis, policy makers should investigate the drivers of entrepreneurial intention of university student populace, so they could better predict which instructional measures or public facilities are more conductive to generate students’ entrepreneurial intentions. Research on entrepreneurial intention have borrowed insight from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Kuratko, 2005; Rauch and Hulsink, 2015).

Literature Gap

Given Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been applied within the entrepreneurship research domain to study entrepreneurial intention formation, recent research suggests more study toward the mediation effect of psychological factors on influence of economic or sociological factors upon entrepreneurial intention (Fini et al., 2009, and Goethner et al., 2012).

Research Questions

Are science-oriented students more inclined to choose an entrepreneurial career than non-engineering and science students at NTU? Which of the three theoretical TPB antecedents is the most influential in forming entrepreneurial intention? Is mediation effect of psychological factors on the influence of economic or sociological factors upon entrepreneurial intention present?


This research is quantitative in nature. Integration of existing TPB-based theoretical models was attempted and applied to examine how antecedent factors (psychological, economic, and sociological determinants) affecting entrepreneurial intention formation. A customized “University Students’ Entrepreneurial Intention Survey” (USEIS) was developed based on the teaching of established literatures. Dataset was generated from administering the survey to university students enrolled under entrepreneurship education programs running from January through June in 2016. Correlation analysis was completed to determine relatedness between independent variables and entrepreneurial intention. Multiple regression analysis was completed to check the effect of theoretical antecedent factors upon entrepreneurial intention.

Empirical Material

Sampling was completed with students groups representing science-oriented and non-science-oriented academic backgrounds. A total of 125 unique responses registered with individual students was collected. Students were enrolled in entrepreneurship education programs sponsored at NTU, to ensure a minimum response rate from a controlled, single-location setting for survey deployment. The same covered a broad range of academic disciplines such as Liberal Arts, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Medicine, Public Health, Management, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Life Sciences, Law, and Bioresources and Agricultures.


This study aims to be an exploratory investigation on the entrepreneurial intention status of university students at National Taiwan University. Factors that had been theorized in extant literature to be influential to entrepreneurial intention, correlation of these factors with respect to entrepreneurial intention, and mediating effect of psychological factors (prior research suggests these to be the most powerful entrepreneurial behavior predictor among the three) on economic factors and sociological factors are examined in hope to provide a better understanding of the entrepreneurial intention and its formation factors of university students at National Taiwan University.

o Select findings from the analysis are itemized into the following:

1. There exists no disciplinary membership difference in entrepreneurial intention between engineering/science students, versus non-engineering/science students.

2. According to the statistical result of this study, for engineering/science students, only social norm, entrepreneurial education exposure level, involvement frequency in university entrepreneurial course show strong correlation to entrepreneurial intention.

3. According to the statistical result of this study, for non-engineering/science students, only economic and political condition of the home country shows strong correlation to entrepreneurial intention.

4. Psychological factors have no mediation effect on the influence of economic factors upon entrepreneurial intention.

Contribution to Scholarship

For methodological contribution, this study presents findings as a result of adopting directly constructs and items from previous literatures in entrepreneurial intentions, and adds new constructs and items into the survey. However, reliability and validity tests and other diagnostic results show several measurement errors by way of insignificance. The direction and strength of the effect of influencing factors are present though. The findings should be more in line with theories but appear to be off, these would mean that more mature refinement should be made to tuning measurement tools, for example, English-to-Chinese translation should be improved, dictions of survey items should be improved.

Contribution to Practice

For empirical contribution, this study determines by way of statistical analysis of a survey that there is no disciplinary membership difference in entrepreneurial intention for the university students at National Taiwan University. In other words, university students at National Taiwan University, regardless of their academic major, share the same entrepreneurial intention intensity pattern (e.g. the majority of students might have thought about starting their own businesses). Results shedding light on which determinants are more relevant to specific student groups should be useful for policy makers in deciding future resource allocation (e.g. promoting entrepreneurial education courses more to science-oriented students).


This research is related to the conference because it is believed to address:

(1) students’ intention as entrepreneurs

(2) measurement of entrepreneurial intention on basis of intention-based behavioral model

(3) potential empirical basis for discussing which aspect of an ecosystem is more conducive to student entrepreneurs.


Fini, R., Grimaldi, R., Marzocchi, G.L. & Sobrero, M. (2012) The Determinants of Corporate Entrepreneurial Intention within Small and Newly Established Firms. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice. 36(2)387-414.

Goethner, M., Obschonka, M., Silbreisen, R. K. & Cantner, U. (2012) Scientists' Transition to Academic Entrepreneurship: Economic and Psychological Determinants. Journal of Economic Psychology. 33: 628-641.

Kuehn, K.W. (2008) Entrepreneurial Intention Research: Implication for Entrepreneurship Education. Journal of Entrepreneurship Education. 11, 87-98.

Kuratko, D. (2005) The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Education: Development, Trends, and Challenges. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 29(5) 577-598.

Markman, G.D. & Baron, R.A. (2003) Person-Entrepreneurship Fit: Why Some People are More Successful as Entrepreneurs than Others. Human Resource Management Review. 13(2) 281-301.

Pryor, C., Webb, J.W., Ireland, R.D. & Ketchen, Jr., D.J. (2015) Toward an Integration of the Behavioral and Cognitive Influences on the Entrepreneurship Process. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. 10(1)21-42.

Rauch, A. & Hulsink, W. (2015) Putting Entrepreneurship Education where the Intention Act Lies: An Investigation into the Impact of Entrepreneurship Educaiton on Entrepreneurial Behavior. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 14(2)187-204.