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The climate for entrepreneurship at higher education institutions

Heiko Bergmann, Mario Geissler, Christian Hundt and Barbara Grave

Research Policy, 2018, vol. 47, issue 4, 700-716

Abstract: While the importance of a supportive context for entrepreneurship is widely acknowledged, its antecedents are rarely investigated. We apply the concept of organizational climate to higher education institutions and examine the drivers of students’ perceptions of the entrepreneurial climate in their university. Combining data from two unique datasets and using multilevel techniques, we analyze the relationship between university characteristics and such climate perceptions of 8009 students at public universities in Germany. We find university entrepreneurship measures to have a positive effect on students’ climate perceptions, which also depend on students’ background and gender. In addition, we find evidence for different peer effects, depending on students’ affinity for entrepreneurship. For the general student population, including entrepreneurship content in their normal studies seems to be required to initiate a social process of sensemaking. However, students’ perception of the entrepreneurial climate only depend to a certain degree on intentional entrepreneurship measures. In our study, general university characteristics have the strongest influence on climate perceptions. Overall, our study adds to our understanding of which parameters are important for establishing a more favorable and inspiring climate for becoming an entrepreneur at higher education institutions.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial climate; Students; Public universities; University support measures; Peer effects; Germany (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 I21 I23 J24 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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