Simulating academic entrepreneurship and inter-organisational collaboration in university ecosystems, a hybrid system dynamics agent-based simulation

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2020
Thesis identifier
  • T15616
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Universities are increasingly expected to actively contribute to socio-economic development. Academic entrepreneurship and the evolution of the entrepreneurial university within ecosystems have received increasing attention from both policymakers and academic communities over the last decades. However, most studies on universities' external engagement have focused on individual activities and single universities, hereby neglecting the feedback effects between different activities and how universities are linked through an overlap of their ecosystems. The result is an incomplete understanding of how universities interact with their ecosystem and the resulting inter- and intra-organisational dynamics. This research addresses this issue by developing a hybrid system dynamics agent-based model, which captures feedback structure and the internal decision-making of universities and companies. Both the conceptual and simulation model are based on a triangulation of the literature, interviews with representatives of Scottish universities, and secondary data for Scottish universities and UK businesses. This research makes several theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions. From a theoretical perspective, it contributes in two distinct ways to the field of entrepreneurship by defining university ecosystems in new way that provides a basis for future research and developing a multi-modal simulation model that can be applied in tested in different contexts. The methodological contributions to the field of modelling and simulation in management science include a modelling process for hybrid simulations, new practices for modelling the size of agent populations through different designs of stocks and flows in the system dynamics module in hybrid simulations, and complex events for recognising emergent behaviour. Lastly, this research makes two empirical contributions to the field of entrepreneurship. This research shines a light on the dynamics of academic entrepreneurship and how universities can partially overcome a low research prestige to increase academic entrepreneurship. Implications for policy and practice are outlined and opportunities for future research conclude this thesis.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Howick, Susan
  • MacKenzie, Niall
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2020
Former identifier
  • 9912935093502996