Abstract

The economic impact of scientific research is receiving widespread attention (Dosi, 1988; Rosenberg & Nelson, 1994). New ventures started by scientists are the most direct or, at any rate, the most visible form of technology transfer and research commercialization (Shane, 2004). However, not much is known about the factors leading scientists to pursue academic entrepreneurship (Audretsch & Kayalar-Erdem, 2005). We attempt to fill this research gap by investigating individual and contextual factors as well as their interplay in determining scientists’ intention to start a firm upon own research. According to entrepreneurship scholars (Bird, 1988; Krueger & Carsrud, 1993), intentions to engage in new firm formation can be seen as a critical antecedent of the decision to become an (academic) entrepreneur. Knowledge about the emergence of and influences on scientists’ entrepreneurial intentions may, thus, be important for both future research on the commercialization of science and public policy aiming to stimulate academic entrepreneurship.

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