International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


Motivation for academic entrepreneurship in a developing country

Author(s): Caleb Muyiwa Adelowo

Today’s globalized economy is driven by knowledge, creativity and innovation. Knowledge generation and exploitation have become the hallmark of national competitiveness in both developed and newly industrializing economies. The emergence of Covid-19 pandemic has further proven that knowledge application is central not only to business survival but also to national sustainability. The astronomical speed that various Covid-19 vaccines were developed further shows that knowledge is indeed the currency of the 21st century. The relevance of knowledge institutions, universities especially, in creating new knowledge and transmitting them to the industry through students, exchanges and mobility, consultancy and contracts is central to knowledge diffusion. Building universities that are responsive to societal challenges has been a subject of academic and policy debate since the emergence of ‘third mission’ and entrepreneurial universities. Earlier studies have shown that universities with entrepreneurial mindset stand the chance to access industry resources, attract talented students and faculties and impact the society. How best to stimulate and sustain faculty’s participation in entrepreneurial activities remain a challenge for university administrators and policy makers. To overcome this challenge, it is imperative to understand faculty’s motivation for academic entrepreneurship and provide appropriate interventions to sustain it for improved relevance to industry and society. This article examines motivation for academic entrepreneurship among selected universities in Nigeria. Data were collected from two hundred and twenty-nine (229) lecturers in the faculties of science, technology and engineering with the aid of questionnaire. The results showed that the mean ratings of motivation for academic entrepreneurship among the faculties are to: acquire new skills and knowledge (4.02), achieve career development (4.0), provide opportunity for students (3.96), capitalize on perceived opportunity (3.86), secure fund for laboratory equipment and utilise industry resources (3.76) and lack of adequate resources within the university (3.59) among others. However, poor rewards system in the university was perceived to be discouraging to academic entrepreneurship (3.4). The results suggest that provision of robust incentive scheme and creation of entrepreneurship infrastructure where faculty and students can explore commercialisation potential of research outputs are plausible policy options to stimulate innovation in the university. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for university stakeholders.

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