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DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION PROCESS IN UK ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITIES: A STUDY OF FIVE WINNERS OF THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR AWARD

Aldawood, Alvin (2018) DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION PROCESS IN UK ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITIES: A STUDY OF FIVE WINNERS OF THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR AWARD. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

There have been continuous challenges for UK universities to behave in an entrepreneurial manner, and there is existing literature on which component parts make up an entrepreneurial university. The context in which universities operate and interact with stakeholders is constantly changing, additionally universities are working in a turbulent sector in which societal and governmental expectations are becoming more demanding. In the UK, the endeavours of Gibb, Haskins and Robertson and the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) have produced analytical frameworks and encouraged further debates. This thesis considers five UK entrepreneurial universities, who have been awarded the “Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award” and explores how their senior staff recognize entrepreneurial opportunities.

A conceptual framework is developed from the literature and is based on both the factors that determine the OpRec process and the factors specific to entrepreneurial universities. The framework is also impacted by the principles of Resource Based Theory (RBT), which underpins the thesis. To validate this framework, a multiple case study approach was the chosen research strategy for this qualitative study. Three methods were used to collect the data: documented secondary data, website content and semi-structured in-depth interviews with directors of entrepreneurship/enterprise centres and deans. Twenty-five interviews were conducted and each lasted between 41-109 minutes. Data obtained through the interviews was analysed by using the Template Analysis (TA) technique; the data gained from the universities’ documents and web pages was analysed by employing the Framework Analysis technique.

The findings show that when seeking to recognise entrepreneurial opportunities and the factors that determine the opportunity recognition process, it is vital to consider the context in which opportunities are being recognised. The findings also show the importance of an optimal mix of resources and capabilities to ensure effectiveness in recognizing entrepreneurial opportunities.

This research contributes to the debate by adding clarity to the concept of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and then expanding it to cover the university context. It has also contributed to filling the gap relating to the criteria that can be used to decide whether or not a university is entrepreneurial. The results from this thesis will help senior staff at UK universities to gain a better understanding of the mechanism for the recognition of entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as the ‘enablers’ that make universities more entrepreneurial. The results could also interest the NCEE, by reflecting upon the criteria used to choose the Entrepreneurial University of the Year.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: Huddersfield Business School
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 11:02
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 11:02
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34822

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