Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 466: Promoting Academic Engagement: University context and individual characteristics

Zhao Zhiyan (), Anders Broström () and Cai Jianfeng
Additional contact information
Zhao Zhiyan: School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Postal: Xi’an Shaanxi, , 710072, , P.R.China
Anders Broström: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Cai Jianfeng: School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University,, Postal: Xi’an Shaanxi, , 710072, , P.R.China

Abstract: This paper aims to explore the impact of organizational context on individuals’ industry activities in Chinese universities. Academic engagement, which includes collaborative research, contract research, consulting and other informal outreach activities, is posited as being jointly determined by organizational and individual level factors. Based on 564 Chinese scientists’ survey responses, our results show that scientists perceiving their university as having a strong entrepreneurial mission or supportive policy context are more active in academic engagement. This relationship is, however, moderated by individual-level factors. Specifically, entrepreneurially oriented university mission and supportive policy are more strongly associated with intra-individual differences in academic engagement for junior scientists, and for scientists with established personal networks to industry. Our analysis also shows that several individual-level predictors of academic engagement identified in studies set in Europe and the US carry over to the Chinese context.

Keywords: academic engagement; entrepreneurial mission; policy context; individual characteristics

JEL-codes: J18; L52; O31

25 pages, February 19, 2018

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