The changing university business model: a stakeholder perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Universities are in a current state of transition, whereby they are expected to develop a wide range of relationships with stakeholders in order to enhance regional innovation systems. However, despite external environmental pressures commonly regarded as one of the main drivers of business model evolution, there is a lack of studies that explore business model innovation as a result of multiple stakeholder influences. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to examine the changing university business model within a region of the United Kingdom, using a stakeholder perspective that will aid theoretical development and refinement in both the business model and stakeholder fields. This examination is aided by consideration of the university business model as an activity system. Repeat interviews, combined with stakeholder theory, have been used to show how the changing university business model–stakeholder relationship has progressed through different stakeholder stages with resultant changes in content, structure and governance. Furthermore, conflicting objectives between each of the stakeholder groups (i.e. academics, industry liaison staff, technology transfer office staff and government support agency representatives) have led to the university business model evolving not as a process of co-creation but rather in a series of transitions whereby multiple stakeholders are continually shaping the university business model through strategies that are dependent upon their salience. Finally, this paper contributes to the development and refinement of business model innovation research, in that the use of stakeholder constructs can illustrate the impact of multiple stakeholders' power and influence on business model innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-287
JournalR&D Management
Volume44
Issue number3
Early online date20 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Abreu, M., Grinevich, V., Hughes, A., and Kitson, M. (2009) Knowledge exchange between academics and the business, public and third sectors. UK Innovation Research Centre. Available at: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/AcademicSurveyReport.pdf (accessed 10 December 2013).
Abreu, M., Grinevich, V., Kitson, M., and Savona, M. (2011) The changing face of innovation policy: implications for the Northern Ireland economy. Report to DETI, University of Cambridge.
Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship (ACE) (2009) Entrepreneurship education in Ireland. Towards creating the entrepreneurial graduate. Available at: http://www.cit.ie/contentfiles/File/entrepreneurship%20education%20in%20ireland%20research%20report2.pdf (accessed 26 July 2013).
Aerts, K., Matthyssens, P., and Vandenbempt, K. (2007) Critical role and screening practices of European business incubators. Technovation., 27, 254–267.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 33
Alexander, A.T., Pearson, S.J., Fielding, S.N., and Bessant, J.R. (2012) The open innovation era: are universities up to the challenge? XXIII ISPIM Conference, Barcelona, Spain.
Almirall, E. and Wareham, S. (2011) Living labs: Arbiters of mid- and ground-level innovation. Journal of Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 23, 87–102.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 2
Alsos, G.A., Hytti, U., and Ljunggren, E. (2011) Stakeholder theory approach to technology incubators. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 17, 607–625.
CrossRef
Alvesson, M. and Skoldberg, K. (2009) Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
Amit, R. and Zott, C. (2001) Value creation in e-business. Strategic Management Journal, 22, 493–520.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 576
Amit, R. and Zott, C. (2012) Creating value through business model innovation. Sloan Management Review, 53, 41–49.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18
Atkin, C.K. (1978) Observation of parent-child interaction in supermarket decision making. Journal of Marketing, 42, 41–45.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 53
Ayuso, S., Rodriguez, M.Z., and Ricart, J.E. (2006) Using stakeholder dialogue as a source of new ideas: a dynamic capability underlying sustainable innovation. Corporate Governance, 6, 475–490.
CrossRef
Bazeley, P. (2007) Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. London: Sage Publications.
Bercovitz, J. and Feldman, M.P. (2006) Entrepreneurial universities and technology transfer: a conceptual framework for understanding knowledge-based economic development. Journal of Technology Transfer, 31, 175–188.
CrossRef
Berkowitz, S. (1997) Analyzing qualitative data. In: Frechtling, J.A. , Sharp, L.M. , and Westat, L.S. (eds), User-Friendly Handbook for Mixed Method Evaluations. National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources. Available at: www.nsf.gov/pubs/1997/nsf97153/chap_4.htm (accessed 9 December 2013).
Bessant, J., Birkinshaw, J., Delbridge, R., Griffin, R., Haskel, J., and Neely, A. (2008) Special report: competing on knowledge. Business Strategy Review, 19, 73–89.
Wiley Online Library
BIS (2010a) Annual Innovation Report 2009. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
BIS (2010b) UK Innovation Survey 2009: Science and Innovation Analysis. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
BIS (2012) Annual Innovation Report 2012: Innovation, Research and Growth. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Bourne, L. (2009) Stakeholder Relationship Management. Surry, UK: Gower.
Brennan, M. (2006) A critical analysis of academic entrepreneurship: findings from a case study. PhD thesis, University of Ulster, UK.
Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Campbell, E., Powers, J., Blumenthal, D., and Biles, B. (2004) Inside the triple helix: technology transfer and commercialization in the life sciences. Health Affairs, 23, 64–76.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 15
Carayannis, E.G., Rogers, E.M., Kurihara, K., and Allbritton, M.M. (1998) High technology spin-offs from government R&D laboratories and research universities. Technovation, 18, 1–11.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 60
Carayannis, E.G., Barth, T.D., and Campbell, D.F.J. (2012) The quinuple helix innovation model: global warming as a challenge and driver for innovation. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 1, 1–12.
CrossRef
Casadesus-Masanell, R. and Ricart, J.E. (2010) From strategy to business models and onto tactics. Long Range Planning, 43, 195–215.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 58
Cavalcante, S., Kesting, P., and Ulhøi, J. (2011) Business model dynamics and innovation: (re)establishing the missing linkages. Management Decision, 49, 1327–1342.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 53
Cennamo, C., Berrone, P., and Gomez-Mejia, L. (2009) Does stakeholder management have a dark side? Journal of Business Ethics, 89, 491–507.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 8
Chesbrough, H. (2003) Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Chesbrough, H. (2007) Why companies should have open business models. MIT Sloan Management Review, 48, 22–28.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 77
Chesbrough, H. (2010) Business model innovation: opportunities and barriers. Long Range Planning, 43, 354–363.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 100
Chesbrough, H. (2011) Bringing open innovation to services. MIT Sloan Management Review, 52, 85–91.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9
Chesbrough, H. and Schwartz, K. (2007) Innovating business models with co-development partnerships. Research Technology Management, 50, 55–59.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 55
Child, J., Tse, K.K., and Rodrigues, S.B. (2013) The Dynamics of Corporate Co-Evolution: A Case Study of Port Development in China (Organisation and Strategy: Case Studies in Their Context). Surrey, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Clark, B.R. (1998) Creating entrepreneurial universities: Organisational pathways of transformation. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.
Creswell, J.W. (2002) Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Pearson Education.
Creswell, J.W. (2003) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, 2nd edn. London, UK: Sage.
Cyert, R.M. and March, G.J. (1963) A Behavioral Theory of the Firm, 2nd edn. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Web of Science®
Decter, M., Bennett, D., and Leseure, M. (2007) University to business technology transfer – UK and USA comparisons. Technovation, 27, 145–155.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 26
Demil, B. and Lecocq, X. (2010) Business model evolution: in search of dynamic consistency. Long Range Planning, 43, 227–246.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 49
DEL (2003) Entrepreneurship and education action plan. Available at: http://www.delni.gov.uk/deti_action_plan.pdf (accessed 25 July 2013).
DETI (2008) Regional Innovation Strategy for Northern Ireland. Belfast: DETI. Action Plan 2008–2011.
Donaldson, T. and Preston, L.E. (1995) The stakeholder theory of the corporation: concepts, evidence, and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20, 65–91.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1274
Dougherty, D. and Hardy, C. (1996) Sustained product innovation in large, mature organizations: overcoming innovation-to-organization problems. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 1120–1153.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 252
Easterby-Smith, M., Lyles, M.A., and Tsang, E.W.K. (2008) Inter-organizational knowledge transfer: current themes and future prospects. Journal of Management Studies, 45, 677–690.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 83
Edvardsson, B., Tronvoll, B., and Thorsten, G. (2011) Expanding understanding of service exchange and value co creation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39, 327–339.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 37
Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989) Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14, 532–550.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5905
Eisenhardt, K.M. (1991) Better stories and better constructs: the case for rigor and comparative logic. Academy of Management, 16, 620–627.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 210
Etzkowitz, H. (1983) Entrepreneurial Scientists and Entrepreneurial Universities in American Academic Science. New York: Minerva.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 93
Etzkowitz, H. (1998) The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new university-industry linkages. Research Policy, 27, 823–833.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 224
Etzkowitz, H. (2003) Research groups as ‘quasi-firms’: the invention of the entrepreneurial university. Research Policy, 32, 109–121.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 187
Etzkowitz, H. and Klofsten, M. (2005) The innovating region: toward a theory of knowledge-based regional development. R&D Management, 35, 243–255.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 71
Etzkowitz, H. and Leydesdorff, L. (2000) The dynamics of innovation: from national systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a triple helix of university-industry-government relations. Research Policy, 29, 109–123.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 721
Etzkowitz, H., Webster, A., Gebhardt, C., and Cantisano Terra, B.R. (2000) The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm. Research Policy, 29, 313–330.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 298
European Commission (2013) Commission Staff Working Document. Strategy for European Technology Platform: ETP 2020. Available at: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/etp/docs/swd-2013-strategy-etp-2020_en.pdf (accessed 11 December 2013).
Feldman, M., Feller, I., Bercovitz, J., and Burton, R. (2002) Equity and the technology transfer strategies of American Research Universities. Management Science, 48, 105–121.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 92
Flyvbjerg, B. (2006) Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12, 219–245.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 559
Foster, D. and Jonker, J. (2005) Stakeholder relationships: the dialogue of engagement. Corporate Governance, 5, 51–57.
CrossRef
Freeman, R.E. (1984) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Boston, MA: Pitman.
Freidman, A.L. and Miles, S. (2002) Developing stakeholder theory. Journal of Management Studies, 39, 1–21.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 110
Frooman, J. (1999) Stakeholder influence strategies. Academy of Management Review, 24, 191–205.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 99
Galbraith, B. and McAdam, R. (2013) The convergence of ICT, policy, intermediaries and society for technology transfer: evidence from European innovation projects. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 25, 249–252.
CrossRef | Web of Science®
George, G. and Bock, A.J. (2011) The business model in practice and its implications for entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35, 81–111.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 20
Gibb, A. (2010) Towards the entrepreneurial university. National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship.
Glaser, B. (1992) Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.
Hughes, A. (2006) University-Industry Linkages and UK Science and Innovation Policy Centre for Business Research. Working Paper No. 136, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.
Jones, O. (2006) Developing absorptive capacity in mature organisations: the change agent's role. Management Learning, 37, 355–376.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 17
Kerzner, H. (2005) Using the Project Management Maturity Model. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Kisfalvi, V. (2002) The entrepreneurs character, life issues and strategic making: a field study. Journal of Business Venturing, 17, 489–518.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 21
Klofsten, M., Jones-Evans, D., and Schärberg, C. (1999) Growing the Linköping Technopole – a longitudinal study of triple helix development in Sweden. Journal of Technology Transfer, 24, 125–138.
CrossRef
Konecki, K.T. (2008) Triangulation and dealing with the realness of qualitative research. Qualitative Sociology Review, 4, 7–28.
Lambert, R. (2003) Lambert review of business–industry collaboration. Final Report, December, HMSO.
Langley, A. (1999) Strategies for theorizing from process data. Academy of Management Review, 24, 691–710.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 704
Leydesdorff, L. (2012) The triple helix, quadruple helix, … , and an n-tuple of helices: explanatory models for analyzing the knowledge-based economy. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 3, 25–35.
CrossRef
Linder, J. and Cantrell, S. (2000) Changing Business Models: Surveying the Landscape. Working Paper: Accenture Institute for Strategic Change. Available at: http://course.shufe.edu.cn/jpkc/zhanlue/upfiles/edit/201002/20100224120954.pdf (accessed 11 December 2013)
Lu, L. and Etzkowitz, H. (2008) Strategic challenges for creating knowledge-based innovation in China: transforming triple helix university-government-industry relations. Journal of Technology Management in China, 3, 5–11.
CrossRef
McAdam, M. and McAdam, R. (2008) High tech start-ups in University Science Park incubators: the relationship between the start-up's lifecycle progression and use of the incubator's resources. Technovation, 28, 227–290.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 20
McAdam, M., McAdam, R., Galbraith, B., and Miller, K. (2010) An exploratory study of principal investigator roles in UK university proof-of-concept processes: an absorptive capacity perspective. R&D Management, 40, 455.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 4
McAdam, R., Miller, K., McAdam, M., and Teague, S. (2012) The development of University Technology Transfer stakeholder relationships at a regional level: lessons for the future. Technovation, 32, 57–67.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 4
Mainardes, E.W., Alves, H., and Raposo, M. (2011) Stakeholder theory: issues to resolve. Management Decision, 49, 226–252.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 37
Martin, B. (2003) The changing social contract for science and the evolution of knowledge production. In: Geuna, A. , Salter, A.J. , and Steinmuller, W.E. (eds), Science and Innovation: Rethinking the Rationales for Funding and Governance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. pp. 7–29.
Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis, 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.
Mitchell, R.K., Agle, B.R., and Wood, D.T. (1997) Towards a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: defining the principal of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22, 853–886.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1282
Mosey, S., Lockett, A., and Westhead, P. (2006) Creating network bridges for university technology transfer: the Medici Fellowship Programme. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 18, 71–91.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 25
Ndonzauz, F.N., Pirnay, F., and Surlemont, B. (2002) A stage model of academic spin-off creation. Technovation, 22, 281–289.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 55
Nenonen, S. and Storbacka, K. (2010) Business model design: conceptualizing networked value co-creation. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 2, 43–59.
CrossRef
NESTA (2010) UK Innovation Index. Measuring the contribution of innovation to economic grown and how this varies across sectors. Available at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/innovation-index-2012 (accessed 13 December 2013).
Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Osterwalder, A.P., Pigneur, Y., and Tucci, C.L. (2005) Clarifying business models: origins, present and future of the concept. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 15, 1–25.
Owen-Smith, J. and Powell, W.W. (2001) To patent or not: faculty decisions and institutional success at technology transfer. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 16, 99–114.
CrossRef
Patton, M. (1990) Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Pfeffer, J. and Salancik, G.R. (1978) The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. New York: Harper and Row.
Philpott, K., Dooley, L., O'Reilly, C., and Lupton, G. (2011) The entrepreneurial university: examining the underlying academic tensions. Technovation, 31, 161–170.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 13
Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V. (2004) Co-creation experiences: the next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18, 5–14.
Wiley Online Library
Pries, F. and Guild, P. (2007) Commercial exploitation of new technologies arising from university research: start-ups and markets for technology. R&D Management, 37, 319–333.
Wiley Online Library | Web of Science® Times Cited: 13
Rasmussen, E., Moen, Ø., and Gulbrandsen, M. (2006) Initiatives to promote commercialization of university knowledge. Technovation, 26, 518–533.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 53
REF. (2012) Assessment criteria and level definations. Available at: http://www.ref.ac.uk/panels/assessmentcriteriaandleveldefinitions/ (accessed 20 July 2013).
Reynolds, S.J., Schultz, F.C., and Hekman, D.R. (2006) Stakeholder theory and managerial decision-making: constraints and implications of balancing stakeholder interests. Journal of Business Ethics, 64, 285–301.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 25
Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research. London: John Wiley & Sons.
Rose, M., Robinson, S., Jack, S., and Lockett, N. (2010) Opportunities and contradictions: the policy paradox of entrepreneurial education and university-business engagement since 1960. Lancaster University Management School Working Paper.
Rothaermel, F.T., Agung, S.D., and Jiang, L. (2007) University entrepreneurship: a taxonomy of the literature. Industrial and Corporate Change, 16, 691–791.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 183
Roupas, P. (2008) Human and organisational factors affecting technology uptake by industry. Innovation Management, Policy and Practice, 10, 4–28.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 2
Rowley, T.J. (1997) Moving beyond dyadic ties: a network theory of stakeholder influences. The Academy of Management Review, 22, 887–910.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 404
Sainsbury Report (2007) The Race to the Top: A Review of Government's Science and Innovation Policies. London: HMSO.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2007) Research Methods for Business Students, 4th edn. London: Prentice Hall.
Schneider, S. and Spieth, P. (2013) Business model innovation: towards an integrated future research agenda. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17, 1–34.
CrossRef
Schneider, S., Spieth, P., and Clauss, T. (2012) Business model innovation in the aviation industry. International Journal of Product Innovation, 18, 286–310.
Seawright, J. and Gerring, J. (2008) Case-selection techniques in case study research: a menu of qualitative and quantitative options. Political Research Quarterly, 61, 2, 294–308.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 64
Sharma, M., Kumar, U., and Lalande, L. (2006) Role of university technology transfer offices in university technology commercialisation: case study of the Carleton University Foundry Program. Journal of Services Research, 6, 109–124.
Web of Science®
Stake, R.E. (2000) Case studies. In: Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Suchman, M.C. (1995) Managing legitimacy: strategic and institutional approaches. Academy of Management Review, 20, 571–610.
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1638
Tankhiwale, S. (2009) Exploring the interrelationship between telco business model innovation and the change in business process architecture. Journal of Telecommunications Management, 2, 126–137.
Teece, D.J. (2010) Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long Range Planning, 43, 172–194.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 167
Urbano, D. and Guerrero, M. (2013) Entrepreneurial universities: socioeconomic impacts of academic entrepreneurship in a European context. Economic Development Quarterly, 27, 40–55.
CrossRef | Web of Science®
Wilson, T. (2012) A Review of Business–Industry Collaboration. London: Department for Business, I.S.
Yin, R. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods. London: Sage.
Zott, C. and Amit, R. (2010) Business model design: an activity system perspective. Long Range Planning, 49, 216–226.
CrossRef | Web of Science® Times Cited: 78
Zott, C., Amit, R., and Massa, L. (2011) The business model: recent developments and future research. Journal of Management, 37, 1019–1042.

Keywords

  • university business models
  • stakeholders

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The changing university business model: a stakeholder perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this