The Impact of Skills, Working Time Allocation and Peer Effects on the Entrepreneurial Intentions of Scientists
University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 325
32 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2012 Last revised: 7 Aug 2023
Date Written: November 22, 2012
Little is currently known about the effects of skill composition on academic entrepreneurship. Therefore, in this paper, following Lazear’s (2005) jack-of-all-trades approach, we study how the composition of a scientist’s skills affects his or her intention to become an entrepreneur. Extending Lazear, we examine how the effect of balanced skills is moderated by a balance in working time and peer effects. Using unique data collected from 480 life sciences researchers in Switzerland and Germany, we provide first evidence that scientists with more diverse and balanced skills are more likely to have higher entrepreneurial intentions, but only if they also balance their working time and are in contact with entrepreneurial peers. Therefore, to encourage the entrepreneurial intentions of life scientists, it must be ensured that scientists are exposed to several types of work experience, have balanced working time allocations across different activities, and work with entrepreneurial peers; e.g., collaborating with colleagues or academic scientists who have started new ventures in the past.
Keywords: Jack-of-all-Trades, Skills, Entrepreneurial Intentions, Academic Entrepreneurship, Peer Effects
JEL Classification: O32, M13, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation