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Ready to leave the ivory tower?: Academic scientists’ appeal to work in the private sector

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  • Michael Fritsch

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  • Stefan Krabel

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Abstract

In this study we investigate the factors that shape the attitudes of scientists toward starting their own business or working in a private sector firm. The analysis is based on data collected from scientists working in the German Max Planck Society, a research institution devoted to basic science. We find that the scientists' evaluations of the attractiveness of working in a private sector firm or of starting their own business differ considerably according to their academic discipline and the perceived commercial potential of their research. The ability to take risks, prior work experience in private firms, and personal experience with industry cooperation lead to a positive attitude towards switching to private sector employment or entrepreneurship. Strong willingness to freely distribute research findings are related to a low appeal of private sector work.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Stefan Krabel, 2012. "Ready to leave the ivory tower?: Academic scientists’ appeal to work in the private sector," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 271-296, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:37:y:2012:i:3:p:271-296
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-010-9174-7
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Audretsch & Erik Lehmann & Mike Wright, 2014. "Technology transfer in a global economy," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 301-312, June.
    2. Annelore Huyghe & Mirjam Knockaert & Evila Piva & Mike Wright, 2016. "Are researchers deliberately bypassing the technology transfer office? An analysis of TTO awareness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 589-607, October.
    3. repec:spr:jahrfr:v:38:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10037-017-0114-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Coleen Carrigan & Katie O’Leary & Eve Riskin & Joyce Yen & Matt O’Donnell, 2017. "On-ramping: following women scientists and engineers through their transition from nonacademic to faculty careers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 98-115, February.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2477-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Di Maio, Giorgio & Landoni, Paolo, 2017. "Determinants of PhD holders’ use of social networking sites: An analysis based on LinkedIn," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 740-750.
    7. Nora Hesse, 2015. "Students' Career Attitudes - How Entrepreneurial Are Prospective Scientists?," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    8. Herrera, Liliana & Nieto, Mariano, 2016. "PhD careers in Spanish industry: Job determinants in manufacturing versus non-manufacturing firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 113(PB), pages 341-351.
    9. repec:spr:joptap:v:168:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10957-015-0747-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Würmseher, Martin, 2017. "To each his own: Matching different entrepreneurial models to the academic scientist's individual needs," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-17.
    11. Fagateanu Alina-Mihaela & Nicolaescu Sergiu Ştefan & Kifor Claudiu Vasile & Mărginean Silvia, 2015. "Student Career Management – Private and Public Sector Involvement," Balkan Region Conference on Engineering and Business Education, De Gruyter Open, vol. 1(1), pages 1-9, November.
    12. Cornelia Kolb & Marcus Wagner, 2015. "Crowding in or crowding out: the link between academic entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial traits," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 387-408, June.
    13. Hsing-fen Lee & Marcela Miozzo, 2015. "How does working on university–industry collaborative projects affect science and engineering doctorates’ careers? Evidence from a UK research-based university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 293-317, April.
    14. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-017-9629-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge transfer; Science; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Commercialization; O31; O33; L26; L32;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises

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