Title: Where does it lead to? Nowhere! Problematic sensemaking concerning commercialisation

Authors: Tero Montonen; Jukka Moilanen; Päivi Eriksson

Addresses: University of Eastern Finland, Business School, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' University of Eastern Finland, Business School, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' University of Eastern Finland, Business School, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland

Abstract: This study utilised Weick's sensemaking framework to understand academic entrepreneurship as a social process. This paper presents an analysis of the sensemaking process of a group of scientists, assisted by a university business advisor, who aimed to establish a university spin-off company. The case study shows how the scientists failed to construct a new sense of commercialisation in their business development project. Analysing personal interviews with the scientists, this study investigated problematic sensemaking concerning commercialisation activities and academic entrepreneurship. In addition to showing how problems in sensemaking produced hesitation rather than action in business development, the findings emphasise the centrality of identities, enactments, salient cues and social contexts in organising commercialisation activities at universities.

Keywords: academic entrepreneurship; commercialisation; business development; university spin-off; sensemaking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2019.097059

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2019 Vol.19 No.1, pp.62 - 74

Received: 17 Jun 2017
Accepted: 16 Jan 2018

Published online: 14 Dec 2018 *

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