Orientamento imprenditoriale e performance: un’indagine tra le università italiane (Entrepreneurial orientation and performance: a survey among Italian universities)

  • Angelo Riviezzo
  • Maria Rosaria Napolitano
Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation, academic entrepreneurship, third mission


Purpose of the paper: The paper aims at empirically measuring the entrepreneurial orientation of the Italian universities’ departments and the impact it has on their ability to generate patents and spin-offs from research.
Methodology: We sent a web-based questionnaire to 238 Heads of department of Italian universities, getting 103 useful responses. Through a multiple regression analysis we investigated the link between departments’ entrepreneurial orientation and performance.
Findings: The entrepreneurial orientation significantly affects the ability of university departments to generate patents and spin-offs. However, not all the dimensions we used to operationalize the theoretical construct that we derived from a previous study play the same role.
Research limits: A limitation of the study is the sample size obtained and the fact that the survey was administered just in Italy. Furthermore, for the statistical analysis of results we could have used more advanced approaches.
Practical implications: The paper integrates the traditional approach in assessing the entrepreneurial ability of universities, which is limited to the focus on the results, without investigating their strategic determinants. Furthermore, it identifies the factors on which is possible to act, at the level of single departments or the whole university, in order to foster academic entrepreneurship.
Originality of the paper: The literature on entrepreneurial university has traditionally studied the organizational implications of the new model rather than the strategic implications. This paper considers the strategic orientation as a key factor to academic entrepreneurship, empirically measuring its impact.


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