Towards an entrepreneurial university : entrepreneurship education and innovation activities at the University of Oulu
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201906052417
Oulu : K. Kyyrönen,
|Publish Date:|| 2019-06-12
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Entrepreneurship and increasing entrepreneurial activity are topics of high interest for several groups in a society. Due to various benefits generated by entrepreneurship, governments and policy makers are interested in mechanisms and activities enhancing entrepreneurial activity. This has led to creation of a phenomenon called Entrepreneurial University, which emphasizes the role of universities in generating new innovations and future entrepreneurs and contributing to regional development.
The purpose of this study is to examine the current state of entrepreneurship education and innovation activities at the University of Oulu. The study aims at identifying the primary activities and educational approaches of different organizations and activities contributing to entrepreneurship education at the University of Oulu and drawing a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the activities.
This research is a qualitative study. Data is gathered by semi-structured theme interviews and altogether five interviews were conducted covering the operations of six organizations or activities. All the interviewees were either in the role of planning or implementing the activities and were experienced in their tasks after several years of working in their positions.
The results reveal that entrepreneurship education and innovation activities at the University of Oulu are rich in nature and complementary to each other. All three areas forming the entrepreneurial university phenomenon were found, meaning entrepreneurship training, technology transfer and innovation support mechanisms. From the results it can be stated that after few years of iterative development, the case organizations and activities have found and adopted the best practices to their activities and formed a solid basis for operations. The study also reveals that the major challenges related to operations were shared by the organizations. The greatest challenges related to operations concern reaching and engaging Finnish students, which is caused by other smaller challenges such as lack of motivation, lack of credibility and language barriers. High levels of improvement of operations may be received by focusing on the issues revealed in this research and enhancing co-operation between the organizations.
The results of this research provide the University of Oulu with valuable information about the current state of the entrepreneurial activities and reveal some development areas. This study contributes also to the growing body of research in the field of entrepreneurial university verifying some of the findings of previous research. The study serves also other higher education institutions and organizations planning of conducting similar activities and provides suggestions for further research.
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