• Article

Conceptualizing academic entrepreneurship ecosystems


Hayter, C. S., Nelson, A. J., Zayed, S., & O'Connor, A. C. (2018). Conceptualizing academic entrepreneurship ecosystems: A review, analysis and extension of the literature. Journal of Technology Transfer, 1-44. DOI: 10.1007/s10961-018-9657-5

Policy-related discussions increasingly view universities as so-called "engines of economic growth''. Recognizing that the economic impact of universities is dependent, at least in part, on the success of university-affiliated entrepreneurial ventures, this paper reviews the extant literature to understand how academic entrepreneurship is conceptualized and the extent to which it adopts an ecosystem approach. We find that scholars have largely focused on individual ecosystem elements and characteristics, eschewing strategic and systemic conceptualizations of entrepreneurship ecosystems. As a result, we argue that the ecosystem perspective has not been fully leveraged to influence policy decisions. We conclude by offering several concrete recommendations on future research directions that, if pursued, would further enhance our understanding of the economic impact of universities.