“The Role of Research Universities in Catalyzing Value Creation,” a chapter in the recently published De Gruyter Handbook of SME Entrepreneurship, uses the IRIS UMETRICS dataset to demonstrate the value created by university research.
Authors: Nazha Gali and Susanna L. M. Chui.
Abstract: Through this chapter we focus on the impact of research universities’ publicly funded research projects on the economy in terms of knowledge creation, knowledge transfer, and business ethics promotion. We aim to answer the research question of how universities and science can provide tools that have a positive effect on the economy, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This chapter sheds light on how universities provide tools, evidence, and new knowledge that catalyze value creation. With the illustrations of two university contexts, one in the US and the other in Hong Kong, we offer insights on how scientific research projects do not only serve the sole purpose of publication. Scientific research projects serve to connect the academic and practice fields in knowledge creation and exchange; to create an experiential learning ground for students; and to provide examination and curation of market trends for sectoral growth. Through the first part of the book chapter, we present past research on the impact of universities on the economy, SMEs, and their communities. The second part of the chapter explains the data curation efforts led at the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS), which is a consortium of US research universities adopting large administrative data, to investigate and provide the evidence of the effect of higher education universities on the economy, SMEs, the career pathways of students, and on national prosperity. We examine cases in which federally funded projects have led to a positive impact on the economy, including SMEs. The third part of the chapter examines the engagement of business school students in the examination of entrepreneurial ethics in a research university in Hong Kong, a rising economy. Students were engaged in an active knowledge creation process. The experience of students’ research contribution to a business ethics index which was published annually for ten years is discussed. Students at a business school who collected data for a Junzi Corporation Survey every year in Hong Kong embarked on a learning journey that stimulated their business ethics learning. The outcomes of the research serve to inform the business sectors in terms of the values that shape responsible management towards the important customer stakeholder group.