Transformative change in higher education: entrepreneurial universities and high-technology entrepreneurship

James A. Cunningham*, Matthias Menter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Public policies focusing on the higher education landscape often pursue a paradigm shift among universities that may ultimately lead to the transformation towards entrepreneurial universities. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether a higher education policy-induced transformation significantly influenced regional high-technology entrepreneurship. We thereby focus on the German Excellence Initiative, a higher education policy intervention designed to foster and support the transformative change of German universities towards an entrepreneurial paradigm. Our results reveal that the German Excellence Initiative had a positive and significant impact on regional high-technology entrepreneurship. Our results further show that the higher the interaction with industry, the more conducive universities become for regional high-technology entrepreneurship. In addition, universities’ overarching scientific focus decisively affects regional high-technology entrepreneurship. Based on our results, we conclude our paper by outlining implications for policy makers, high-technology entrepreneurs and university managers as well as present future avenues for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-364
Number of pages22
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number3
Early online date13 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021


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