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The impact of skills, working time allocation and peer effects on the entrepreneurial intentions of scientists


  • Petra Moog


  • Arndt Werner
  • Stefan Houweling


  • Uschi Backes-Gellner


Little is currently known about the effects of skill composition on academic entrepreneurship. Therefore, in this paper, following Lazear’s (J Labor Econ 23(4):649–680, 2005 ) jack-of-all-trades approach, we study how the composition of a scientist’s skills affects his or her intention to become an entrepreneur. Extending Lazear, we examine how the effect of balanced skills is moderated by a balance in working time and peer effects. Using unique data collected from 480 life sciences researchers in Switzerland and Germany, we provide first evidence that scientists with more diverse and balanced skills are more likely to have higher entrepreneurial intentions, but only if they also balance their working time and are in contact with entrepreneurial peers. Therefore, to encourage the entrepreneurial intentions of life scientists, it must be ensured that scientists are exposed to several types of work experience, have balanced working time allocations across different activities, and work with entrepreneurial peers; e.g., collaborating with colleagues or academic scientists who have started new ventures in the past. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Moog & Arndt Werner & Stefan Houweling & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2015. "The impact of skills, working time allocation and peer effects on the entrepreneurial intentions of scientists," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 493-511, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:40:y:2015:i:3:p:493-511
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-014-9347-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aurora A. C. Teixeira & João Nogueira, 2016. "Academic Entrepreneurship In Life Sciences: The Case Of A Moderate Innovator Country," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 21(01), pages 1-21, March.
    2. Iorio, Roberto & Labory, Sandrine & Rentocchini, Francesco, 2017. "The importance of pro-social behaviour for the breadth and depth of knowledge transfer activities: An analysis of Italian academic scientists," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 497-509.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:271-282 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Jack-of-all-trades; Entrepreneurial intentions; Academic entrepreneurship; Peer effects; O32; M13; J24;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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