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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2020

Alessio Ishizaka, David Pickernell, Shuangfa Huang and Julienne Marie Senyard

The purpose of this study is to examine the portfolio of knowledge transfer (KT) activities in 162 UK higher education institutions. In doing so, this study creates an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the portfolio of knowledge transfer (KT) activities in 162 UK higher education institutions. In doing so, this study creates an index and ranking, but more importantly, it identifies specific groupings or strategic profiles of universities defined by different combinations and strengths of the individual KT activities from which the overall rankings are derived. Previous research, concentrating on entrepreneurial universities, shows that individual knowledge transfer (KT) activities vary substantially among UK universities. The broad portfolio of universities' KT activities, however, remains underexplored, creating gaps in terms of the relative strength, range, focus and combination of these activities, and the degree to which there are distinct university strategic KT profiles. By examining KT activities and grouping universities into KT “types”, this research allows universities and policymakers to better develop and measure clearer KT-strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study applied the Preference Ranking Organization Method for the Enrichment of Evaluations (PROMETHEE) to rank universities based on their portfolio of KT activities. It utilised data from the 2015–2016 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey dataset.

Findings

Findings show that universities differ substantially in their portfolios of KT activities. By using PROMETHEE, a new ranking of universities is generated, based on their KT portfolio. This paper also identifies four distinct types or groups of universities based on the diversity and intensity of their KT activities: Ambidextrous, broad, focused and indifferent.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the entrepreneurship literature, and more specifically entrepreneurial activities of universities through new knowledge generated concerning university KT activity. The research extends the existing literature on university archetypes (including those concerned with the Entrepreneurial University) and rankings using a new technique that allows for more detailed analysis of the range of university KT activities. By applying the PROMETHEE approach, results illustrate a more nuanced definition of university KT activities than before, by simultaneously evaluating their overall strength, range, focus and combination, allowing us to identify the universities' strategic profiles based on their KT portfolios. Implications of the findings for key stakeholders include a potential need for government higher education policymakers to take into account the different mixes of university archetypes in a region when considering how best to support higher education and its role in direct and indirect entrepreneurship promotion through regional policy goals.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Paul Jones, David Pickernell, Rebecca Fisher and Celia Netana

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate career impact of entrepreneurship education (EE) considering evidence drawn from a quantitative study of alumni within two UK…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate career impact of entrepreneurship education (EE) considering evidence drawn from a quantitative study of alumni within two UK higher education institutions (HEIs) from a retrospective perspective. The findings inform the value of the EE experience and its impact on both self-employability and wider employability career choices. This study will be of relevance to both enterprise support agencies and government policy makers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research study considers evidence drawn from an online quantitative survey of EE within two UK HEIs. The survey evaluated a range of issues including course design, programme satisfaction, impact, career outcomes and respondents demographics. Over 80 respondents completed the survey in full which was analysed using a range of bivariate techniques.

Findings

The evidence suggested here indicates that EE programmes provide value both in terms of helping to enable business start-ups and also in supporting other career paths, through the enterprising knowledge and skill sets graduates acquire during their specialised studies. This study contributes to the literature by recognising and measuring these contributions. For example, this study enables discernment between different EE course components and their value for different career outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The study recognises the limitations of this survey data in terms of the size of the sample, number of HEIs evaluated and its point in time design.

Practical implications

The HEI sector must evaluate its practices and measure the effectiveness of its graduates in terms of achieving sustainable business start-up. In course design, the evidence suggested that students value both the enterprising and entrepreneurial skills and knowledge components and discern value between them in their later careers. The findings suggest that EE graduates typically experience portfolio careers with multiple occupations in different sectors and roles within both employment and self-employment. Thus it is important that EE programme design includes both enterprising and entrepreneurial components to meet the future requirements of their graduates postgraduation.

Originality/value

This study contributes new evidence regarding the value of EE in UK HEIs. This evidence should inform course design and policy makers regarding the value of EE in creating self-employment and creating enterprising employees.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 59 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Shuangfa Huang, David Pickernell, Martina Battisti, Danny Soetanto and Qihai Huang

Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is an exploratory orientation because its dimensions such as innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking are the essence of exploration…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is an exploratory orientation because its dimensions such as innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking are the essence of exploration that entails uncertain returns. While literature suggests firms might need to counterbalance and complement EO with another orientation for organisational success, research on this area remains limited. Drawing on organisational learning theory, the purpose of this article is to explore whether and how the EO dimensions and organisational ambidexterity complement each other to enhance new product performance. More specifically, the authors explore the configurations of innovativeness, proactiveness, risk-taking and ambidexterity for superior new product performance under different levels of market turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a configurational perspective, the authors applied fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) on a sample of 88 small and medium-sized firms from the UK. Using fsQCA allows the authors to uncover the potential complementary role between the EO dimensions and ambidexterity for superior new product performance.

Findings

The results of this paper reveal three configurations that are sufficient to produce superior new product performance. The results suggest that the EO dimensions and ambidexterity can complement each other to enhance new product performance. Further, under the turbulent market environment, the EO dimensions are also sufficient to produce superior new product performance.

Originality/value

By adopting a configurational perspective using fsQCA, the study provides a more holistic understanding of how the EO dimensions work together to influence new product performance. It also contributes to the literature by uncovering the complementary role of the EO dimensions and ambidexterity in shaping new product performance.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Daniel Fuller and David Pickernell

The purpose of this paper is to identify whether the entrepreneurial activities of universities in the UK can be statistically grouped together.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify whether the entrepreneurial activities of universities in the UK can be statistically grouped together.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is performing a principal component analysis (PCA) of the 2009/2010 UK Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCIS) data for the third stream activities of universities in the UK.

Findings

The PCA of the 144 included institutions identified four groups of entrepreneurial activities being engaged in by universities in the UK. Three of the four groups were related to spin-offs, labelled as “Staff Spin-off Activity”, “Non-HEI Owned Spin-Off Activity” and “Graduate Start-up Activity”. The remaining factor has been named “University Knowledge Exploitation Activity (UKEA)” and encompasses a wide range of university knowledge creation, exchange and exploitation activities.

Research limitations/implications

The research indicates, through a ranking system for each university for the various groups of entrepreneurial activities, that universities are often entrepreneurial in just one or two of the groups of entrepreneurial activities identified by the PCA. Identifying what is causing those differences is required to further understand why we see this variation across the HE sector.

Originality/value

The use of a PCA to identify groups of entrepreneurial activities is a novel approach. Typically studies use a select few indicators, such as spin-offs or patents to analyse the entrepreneurial activities of universities. This study uses PCA to group together statistically related activities which can then be used to identify what is driving these groups of activities in future studies.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Phillip McGowan, Chris Simms, David Pickernell and Konstantios Zisakis

The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of effectuation when used by small suppliers within key account management (KAM) relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of effectuation when used by small suppliers within key account management (KAM) relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory longitudinal case study approach was used to examine a single small supplier operating in the snack foods sector of the UK foods industry, as it entered into a new KAM relationship with a major retailer and undertook four new product development projects.

Findings

Findings suggest effectuation may positively moderate the ability of a small supplier to enter into a KAM relationship by enabling it to obtain resources and limit risk. However, once within the relationship, the use of effectuation may negatively impact success by increasing the potential for failure to co-create new product development, leading to sub-optimal products, impacting buyer confidence and trust. Furthermore, a failed KAM relationship may impact other customers through attempts to recover revenues by selling these products, which may promote short-term success but, in the long-term, lead to cascading sales failure.

Research limitations/implications

It cannot be claimed that the findings of just one case study represent all small suppliers or KAM relationships. Furthermore, the case presented specifically concerns buyer-supplier relationships within the food sector.

Practical implications

This study appears to suggest caution be exercised when applying effectuation to enter into a KAM relationship, as reliance on effectual means to garner required resources may lead to the production of sub-optimal products, which are rejected by the customer. Additionally, a large customer considering entering into a KAM relationship with a small supplier should take care to ensure their chosen partner has all resources needed to successfully deliver as required or be prepared to provide sufficient support to avoid the production of sub-optimal products.

Originality/value

Findings suggest the use of effectuation within a KAM relationship has the potential to develop a dark side within business-to-business buyer-supplier relationships through unintentional breaches of trust by the selling party.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2019

David Pickernell, Alessio Ishizaka, Shuangfa Huang and Julienne Senyard

Prior research shows that universities differ in the knowledge exchange (KE) activities they pursue, but little is known about universities’ strategies regarding their…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior research shows that universities differ in the knowledge exchange (KE) activities they pursue, but little is known about universities’ strategies regarding their portfolio of KE activities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the KE strategy of UK universities in specific relation to their portfolio of KE activities with small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the 2015–2016 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey data set, this study employs the Preference Ranking Organisation METHod for the Enrichment of Evaluations to assess the KE activities from 162 UK higher education institutions.

Findings

The study reveals that entrepreneurial universities valorise university knowledge assets through five SME-focussed KE activities most beneficial to measuring the entrepreneurial university. It also uncovers four different archetypal categories (groupings) of universities based on their strategic focus of KE activities.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the entrepreneurial university literature by considering universities’ overall KE portfolio rather than examining individual KE activity in isolation. It provides a clearer understanding of universities’ KE strategies that help define and delineate entrepreneurial universities regarding their range, focus and the combination of KE activities.

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Paul Jones, Christopher Miller, David Pickernell and Gary Packham

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to examine the initiation of the University of the Heads of the Valley Initiative (UHOVI) project and evaluate the development of…

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1545

Abstract

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to examine the initiation of the University of the Heads of the Valley Initiative (UHOVI) project and evaluate the development of its focus, materials and structure. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology employs interviews with a purposive sample of local employer stakeholders. The rationale for this approach is that it allows identification of the key requirements that UHOVI will need to fulfil if it is to be successful in this endeavour, within a reasonable timeframe. The in‐depth interviews also allow increased clarity in terms of the conclusions that can be drawn, particularly in terms of the recommendations for the next stages of UHOVI project. Findings – UHOVI's aim is to encourage social inclusion, through vocational education and training programmes explicitly suited to non‐traditional learners in an area of high social deprivation. UHOVI is a strategic partnership backed by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Social Fund, between the University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport. The purpose of the project is to alleviate the long‐term problems inherent within the Valleys area of Wales, which include low levels of professional and managerial jobs, limited qualifications and educational progression and high levels of economic inactivity, sickness and disability. Practical implications – This study can also act as a case study for other similar policies undertaken in similar economic geographies in the future. It also provides an important and original insight into the underpinning design of a large scale social inclusion educational project which will be of interest to policy makers, academia and enterprise support agencies. Originality/value – The paper provides an in‐depth study of the significant UHOVI project, examining the requirements for such an initiative in terms of both content and delivery of vocational education, and how this can affect the role that an education and training programme can play in meeting a social inclusion agenda.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 53 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Paul Jones, Gary Packham, Paul Beynon‐Davies and David Pickernell

This study aims to examine usage and deployment trends of e‐business technologies within the small and medium‐sized enterprise (SMEs) community in Wales, since the turn of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine usage and deployment trends of e‐business technologies within the small and medium‐sized enterprise (SMEs) community in Wales, since the turn of the millennium. Analysis of prior surveys such as the Department of Trade and Industry and Federation of Small Business reveals poor adoption levels of basic information and communication technology deployment and minimal uptake of sophisticated technologies in comparison to other UK regions. Uptake of e‐business was assessed through a quantitative survey of SMEs and contrasted against prior studies undertaken within Wales since 2000 to identify trends and levels of adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is comprised of a survey of 500 SMEs including a representative population from diverse geographical and economic regions within Wales. The survey deployed a proportionately stratified and representative sampling technique, whereby two‐thirds of the enterprises selected were micro sized classified enterprises with no employees to ensure compatibility with the Welsh SME population.

Findings

Levels of e‐business uptake within prior surveys varied significantly, due to the contrasting nature and size of the samples. As a consequence, several previous surveys presented an overly optimistic picture of e‐business adoption and results must, therefore, be treated with caution. The authors' own survey revealed lower utilisation levels of e‐business than prior studies, suggesting sophisticated use of e‐business was limited, especially within the smaller SME size classifications.

Originality/value

To achieve increased e‐business uptake, it is critical that there is a long‐term strategic vision by policy makers to ensure coordinated action by relevant public and private sector groups. Short‐term strategies must be avoided and policy makers must drive an agenda for change by ensuring bodies, such as enterprises support agencies, academia and public and private sectors undertake complimentary activities that encourage e‐business adoption. This study will be of value to academia, the SME community and key public sector stakeholders in the formulation of policy for e‐business development and deployment.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

David Pickernell, Paul Jones, Gary Packham, Brychan Thomas, Gareth White and Robert Willis

This study aims to examine e-commerce within UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More specifically, it seeks to explore associations between e-commerce and…

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4573

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine e-commerce within UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). More specifically, it seeks to explore associations between e-commerce and internal and external antecedents including trading behaviour, owner/manager characteristics, innovation, public sector involvement, business advice and finance sources.

Design/methodology/approach

An 8,500+ sample derived from the 2008 UK Federation of Small Businesses survey was utilised. An OLS regression equation was generated where the percentage of sales made using e-commerce constituted the dependent variable. Independent variables were constructed for several sets of factors including innovation, business advice and sources of finance, as well as a range of owner and SME typology variables.

Findings

The results suggest that e-commerce is more strongly apparent in SMEs started from scratch and where they were involved in basic or high knowledge services or the tourist trade. SMEs undertaking e-commerce were also associated with innovation in the form of copyright, as well as public procurement with local authorities and the university sector. Specific business advice in the form of capacity, family and suppliers was also associated with e-commerce trading.

Research limitations/implications

These results have implications for SMEs and public sector stakeholders. SMEs must recognise the importance of several potential antecedents such as intellectual property rights, specific business advice and finance to encourage e-commerce. Moreover, it was apparent that certain SME characteristics, namely locality and trading behaviour, were associated with effective e-commerce.

Originality/value

This study will be of value to academia, SMEs and key public sector stakeholders in the formulation of policy for ICT development.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2013

David Pickernell, Julienne Senyard, Paul Jones, Gary Packham and Elaine Ramsey

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether new and young firms are different from older firms. This analysis is undertaken to explore general characteristics, use…

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1938

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether new and young firms are different from older firms. This analysis is undertaken to explore general characteristics, use of external resources and growth orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the 2008 UK Federation of Small Businesses survey provided 8,000 responses. Quantitative analysis identified significantly different characteristics of firms from 0‐4, 4‐9, 9‐19 and 20+ years. Factor analysis was utilised to identify the advice sets, finance and public procurement customers of greatest interest, with ANOVA used to statistically compare firms in the identified age groups with different growth aspirations.

Findings

The findings reveal key differences between new, young and older firms in terms of characteristics including business sector, owner/manager age, education/business experience, legal status, intellectual property and trading performance. New and young firms were more able to access beneficial resources in terms of finance and advice from several sources. New and young firms were also able to more easily access government and external finance, as well as government advice, but less able to access public procurement.

Research limitations/implications

New and young firms are utilising external networks to access several resources for development purposes, and this differs for older firms. This suggests that a more explicit age‐differentiated focus is required for government policies aimed at supporting firm growth.

Originality/value

The study provides important baseline data for future quantitative and qualitative studies focused on the impact of firm age and government policy.

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