Theories from the Lab: How Research on Science Commercialization Can Contribute to Management Studies

30 Pages Posted: 29 May 2020

See all articles by Riccardo Fini

Riccardo Fini

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Einar Rasmussen

Nord Universtiy

Johan Wiklund

Syracuse University

Mike Wright

Imperial College London

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2019


Universities and research centres have long been used to study management issues. A growing body of research has focused on how science can be effectively commercialized, emphasizing technology commercialization activities, university–industry collaborations, and academic entrepreneurship. While much of this work has documented empirical relationships, our aim in this introductory article of the special issue is to show how research on science commercialization may yield conceptual contributions to the field of management. Hence, we first discuss the importance of context for theory development. We then review how the science commercialization context has been used for theory development, identifying two facets used to conceptualize science commercialization (i.e., managing the transition between institutional contexts, and the multiple goals and impacts of actors engaging in science commercialization). This forms the basis for discussing what makes this context suited for theory development in general management and for outlining a future research agenda. We conclude by summarizing the papers in the special issue.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, management theory, organization theory, science commercialization, university

Suggested Citation

Fini, Riccardo and Rasmussen, Einar and Wiklund, Johan and Wright, Mike, Theories from the Lab: How Research on Science Commercialization Can Contribute to Management Studies (July 2019). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 56, Issue 5, pp. 865-894, 2019, Available at SSRN: or

Riccardo Fini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Via Terracini 28
Bologna, 40131


Einar Rasmussen

Nord Universtiy ( email )

Post Office Box 1490
Bodø, Nordland 8049

Johan Wiklund

Syracuse University ( email )

Whitman School of Management
720 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Mike Wright

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics