Commercializing the university: The costs and benefits of the entrepreneurial exchange of knowledge and skills.
AuthorPhilpott, Rodger Frank.
KeywordsHigher education and state -- Australia.
Education, Higher -- Economic aspects -- Australia.
Universities and colleges -- Economic aspects -- Australia.
Committee ChairLeslie, Larry L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe emergence of the global economy has forced the Australian government to revise economic strategies and to seek institutional changes. Higher education's new roles in research and human resource development, have been manifested in university commercialization activities. Mindful that Universities are prestige rather than profit maximizers, this study applies Schumpeter's (1942) theoretical model for the survival of a firm under financial stress. The model's responses, extended to education by Leslie and Miller (1973), include new products, new markets, restructuring, increased productivity and new supply factors. University entrepreneurial activities have monetary and non-monetary impacts. The non-monetary costs and benefits of Australian university enterprise were studied by Leslie (1992) and Leslie and Harrold (1993). In this study, academics at Curtin University of Technology (Perth, Western Australia) were selected as entrepreneurial or non-entrepreneurial subjects and surveyed on the non-monetary costs and benefits of entrepreneurial activities affecting Curtin's teaching, research and public service mission. This data were analyzed and subsequently compared with data obtained by Leslie (1992). Differences in academic perceptions were found among the Curtin respondents by gender, academic status, discipline area, entrepreneurship and non-entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial revenue importance. Using the Leslie data inter-institutional differences were examined and an order of entrepreneurial institutional types proposed, with Curtin University described as a frontier entrepreneurial university. The taxonomy of costs and benefits developed by Leslie (1992) was revised with the addition of personal social costs, stress, networking and professional development. An estimate was made of the dollar value of non-monetary items; non-monetary benefits were three times the dollar value of monetary benefits; non-monetary costs were less than half the monetary cost levels. The ratio of non-monetary costs to benefits was 1:3.5. Academics in the disciplines of engineering and science had more favorable perceptions of entrepreneurial costs and benefits than respondents in business studies. Health science respondents were described as having pessimistic perceptions. Future research may look at the levels of commercial revenue and investigate the effects of the amount of financial success or failure on the entrepreneurial efforts of academics. In university enterprise successes seem to foster success and the favorable perceptions of academics.
Degree ProgramEducational Administration and Higher Education