Recently, digitalization and digital technologies have transformed the nature of entrepreneurial processes and the way scholars deal with innate uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship. The emergence of digital technologies therefore raises questions regarding PhD students’ likelihood to engage in entrepreneurship and the institutional logics behind this process. PhD students, in fact, have been documented to face much insecurity when attempting to enter in the entrepreneurial arena; these insecurities have long been due to conflicting interests with their academic careers. This article addresses the gap in the literature on academic entrepreneurship, explores “why” and “how” PhD students adopt digital technologies in their entrepreneurial initiatives, and the impact digital technologies have on their experience with entrepreneurship. We developed an exploratory case study on a European entrepreneurship development programme, collecting data from 24 semi-structured interviews, 176 hours of participant observation, and document analysis. The most critical factors indicated by PhD students who develop digital-based startups are: higher perceived sense of control over their initiatives and more efficient decision-making processes due to the reduced need to create business teams, opportunities to reach potential markets faster than with traditional channels, and scalability. To summarize, digital technologies can be seen as a useful tool to promote entrepreneurial engagement and participation from PhD student bodies. However, universities and private programs should simultaneously support early-stage researchers with business trainings, as the digital technologies themselves cannot compensate for the lack of managerial and organizational skills characterizing of young scholars.

The impact of digitization on motivations and institutional logics of PhD students' startup initiatives: an exploratory study.

Alberto Bertello;AZUCAR CUBIAS, DANNY ALBERTO;Lia Tirabeni
2019

Abstract

Recently, digitalization and digital technologies have transformed the nature of entrepreneurial processes and the way scholars deal with innate uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship. The emergence of digital technologies therefore raises questions regarding PhD students’ likelihood to engage in entrepreneurship and the institutional logics behind this process. PhD students, in fact, have been documented to face much insecurity when attempting to enter in the entrepreneurial arena; these insecurities have long been due to conflicting interests with their academic careers. This article addresses the gap in the literature on academic entrepreneurship, explores “why” and “how” PhD students adopt digital technologies in their entrepreneurial initiatives, and the impact digital technologies have on their experience with entrepreneurship. We developed an exploratory case study on a European entrepreneurship development programme, collecting data from 24 semi-structured interviews, 176 hours of participant observation, and document analysis. The most critical factors indicated by PhD students who develop digital-based startups are: higher perceived sense of control over their initiatives and more efficient decision-making processes due to the reduced need to create business teams, opportunities to reach potential markets faster than with traditional channels, and scalability. To summarize, digital technologies can be seen as a useful tool to promote entrepreneurial engagement and participation from PhD student bodies. However, universities and private programs should simultaneously support early-stage researchers with business trainings, as the digital technologies themselves cannot compensate for the lack of managerial and organizational skills characterizing of young scholars.
GIKA - Global Innovation and Knowledge
Verona
11-13 June
Proceedings of the 10th INEKA (Formerly GIKA) Conference INEKA
Observatory of Knowledge Research
0
1
978-84-09-11060-5
Alberto Bertello; Danny Azucar; Lia Tirabeni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1712363
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