Exploring the Relationship Between Internationalization and Entrepreneurial University: The Mediating Effect of Education in University of Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, and Tarbiat Modares University

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Internationalization is one of the most critical indicators for universities, and universities are the main players in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Although many studies have focused on the components of internationalization, so far off little attention has been paid to the role of entrepreneurship in university development simultaneously with the mediating role of education. Therefore, the present study set out to investigate whether internationalization affects the entrepreneurial university with the mediating role of education in Iranian universities or not. To collect data, a questionnaire was distributed among 171 individuals, including managers and faculty members in the fields of international activities and entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that the components of internationalization, including technology, human resources, finance, communications, and innovation, all have a positive impact on an entrepreneurial university as mediated by education. The human resource management component has the greatest impact on an entrepreneurial university with a mediating role of education. In addition, findings show that universities need to focus on the internal activities, more resources, and executive agents to find a better position. In this way, they can identify significant resources that can be used to develop universities.


Main Subjects

Abreu, M., & Grinevich, V. (2013). The nature of academic entrepreneurship in the UK: Widening the focus on entrepreneurial activities. Research Policy42(2), 408-422.
Acemoglu, D. (2012). What does human capital do? A review of Goldin and Katz’s “The race between education and technology.” Journal of Economic Literature50(2), 426-63. https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.50.2.426.
Ahmad, N. H., Halim, H. A., Ramayah, T., Popa, S., & Papa, A. (2018). The ecosystem of entrepreneurial university: The case of higher education in a developing country. International Journal of Technology Management78(1-2), 52-69. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2018.093935.
Alexander, U., & Evgeniy, P. (2012). The entrepreneurial university in Russia: from idea to reality. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 52(1), 45-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.440.
Altbach, P. (2014). International higher education Volume 2: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203802731
Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., & Rumbley, L. E. (2019). Trends in global higher education: Tracking an academic revolution. Brill.
Arnaut, D. (2010). Towards an entrepreneurial University. International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies3(1), 135-152.
Audretsch, D. B., Cunningham, J. A., Kuratko, D. F., Lehmann, E. E., & Menter, M. (2019). Entrepreneurial ecosystems: Economic, technological, and societal impacts. The Journal of Technology Transfer44(2), 313-325.
Bekkers, R., & Freitas, I. M. B. (2008). Analysing knowledge transfer channels between universities and industry: To what degree do sectors also matter? Research Policy37(10), 1837-1853.
Berggren, E. (2017). Researchers as enablers of commercialization at an entrepreneurial university. Journal of Management Development, 36(2), 217-232.
Bhayani, A. (2015). Building entrepreneurial universities in a specific culture—barriers and opportunities. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing20(4), 312-330.
Bischoff, K., Volkmann, C. K., & Audretsch, D. B. (2018). Stakeholder collaboration in entrepreneurship education: An analysis of the entrepreneurial ecosystems of European higher educational institutions. The Journal of Technology Transfer43(1), 20-46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-017-9581-0.
Bronstein, J., & Reihlen, M. (2014). Entrepreneurial university archetypes: A meta-synthesis of case study literature. Industry and Higher Education28(4), 245-262. https://doi.org/10.5367%2Fihe.2014.0210.
Bruhn, E. (2016). Towards a framework for virtual internationalization. In European distance and e-learning network (EDEN) conference proceedings (No. 2, pp. 1-9). European Distance and E-Learning Network.
Budyldina, N. (2018). Entrepreneurial universities and regional contribution. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal14(2), 265-277. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-018-0500-0.
Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., & Esposito, E. (2019). Exploration and exploitation in the development of more entrepreneurial universities: A twisting learning path model of ambidexterity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change141(1), 172-194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.10.014.
Chang, D. F., & Lin, N. J. (2018). Applying CIPO indicators to examine internationalization in higher education institutions in Taiwan. International Journal of Educational Development63(1), 20-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2017.12.007.
Chebbi, H., Yahiaoui, D., & Thrassou, A. (2017). Multi-country collaborative innovation in the internationalisation process. International Marketing Review, 34(1), 109-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-12-2015-0286.
Coccia, M., & Watts, J. (2020). A theory of the evolution of technology: Technological parasitism and the implications for innovation magement. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management55(1), 101552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jengtecman.2019.11.003.
Cunningham, J. A., Menter, M., & Wirsching, K. (2019). Entrepreneurial ecosystem governance: A principal investigator-centered governance framework. Small Business Economics52(2), 545-562. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-017-9959-2.
Dahlborg, C., Lewensohn, D., Danell, R., & Sundberg, C. J. (2017). To invent and let others innovate: A framework of academic patent transfer modes. The Journal of Technology Transfer42(3), 538-563.
Dalmarco, G., Hulsink, W., & Blois, G. V. (2018). Creating entrepreneurial universities in an emerging economy: Evidence from Brazil. Technological Forecasting and Social Change135(1), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.04.015.
Ellis, V., Blake, A., McNicholl, J., & McNally, J. (2011). ‘The work of teacher education’: Final research report. https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/31809.
Errasti, N., Bezanilla, M. J., García-Olalla, A., Auzmendi, E., & Paños, J. (2018). Factors and maturity level of entrepreneurial universities in Spain. International Journal of Innovation Science, 10(1), 99-127.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIS-05-2017-0043.
Etzkowitz, H. (2014). The entrepreneurial university wave: From ivory tower to global economic engine. Industry and Higher Education28(4), 223-232. https://doi.org/10.5367%2Fihe.2014.0211.
Fanea-Ivanovici, M., & Baber, H. (2022). Sustainability at universities as a determinant of entrepreneurship for sustainability. Sustainability14(1), 454-466.
Fejerskov, A. M. (2017). The new techno politics of development and the global south as a laboratory of technological experimentation. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 42(5), 947-968.
Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research18(1), 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F002224378101800313.
Gentina, E., & Parry, E. (Eds.). (2020). The new Generation Z in Asia: Dynamics, differences, digitalization. Emerald Group Publishing.
Graf, H., & Menter, M. (2022). Public research and the quality of inventions: The role and impact of entrepreneurial universities and regional network embeddedness. Small Business Economics58(2), 1187-1204.
Grimaldi, R., Kenney, M., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2011). 30 years after Bayh–Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship. Research Policy40(8), 1045-1057.
Guerrero, M. (2008). The creation and development of entrepreneurial universities in Spain: An institutional approach (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Guerrero, M., Urbano, D., & Salamzadeh, A. (2015). Entrepreneurial transformation in the Middle East: experiences from Tehran Universities. Technics Technologies Education Management10(4), 533-537.
Guerrero, M., Urbano, D., Cunningham, J. A., & Gajón, E. (2018). Determinants of graduates’ start‐ups creation across a multi‐campus entrepreneurial university: The case of Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. Journal of Small Business Management56(1), 150-178. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsbm.12366
Hahn, D., Minola, T., Bosio, G., & Cassia, L. (2020). The impact of entrepreneurship education on university students’ entrepreneurial skills: A family embeddedness perspective. Small Business Economics55(1), 257-282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-019-00143-y
Hair Jr, J. F., Ringle, C., Sarstedt, M., & Gudergan, S. P. (2017). Advanced issues in partial least square structural equation modeling. SAGE. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05542-8_15-1
Hindle, K., Klyver, K., & Jennings, D. F. (2009). An “informed” intent model: Incorporating human capital, social capital, and gender variables into the theoretical model of entrepreneurial intentions. Understanding the entrepreneurial mind: Opening the black box (pp. 35-50). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0443-0_3
Hosseini, E., & Sabokro, M. (2021). A systematic literature review of the organizational voice. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 15(2), 227-252. https://dx.doi.org/10.22059/ijms.2021.323655.674559
Hu, M. C. (2009). Developing entrepreneurial universities in Taiwan: The effects of research funding sources. Science, Technology and Society14(1), 35-57. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F097172180801400102.
Hulland, J. (1999). Use of partial least squares (PLS) in strategic management research: A review of four recent studies. Strategic Management Journal20(2), 195-204. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199902)20:2%3C195::AID-SMJ13%3E3.0.CO;2-7.
Jain, S., George, G., & Maltarich, M. (2009). Academics or entrepreneurs? Investigating role identity modification of university scientists involved in commercialization activity. Research Policy38(6), 922-935.
Jameson, J., & O’Donnell, P. (2015). The entrepreneurial university: A unifying theme for TU4Dublin? Stream 1: Enterprise and Engagement, 6.
Jessop, B. (2017). Varieties of academic capitalism and entrepreneurial universities. Higher Education73(6), 853-870.
Jones, P., Wynn, M., Hillier, D., & Comfort, D. (2017). A commentary on the City Deals in the UK. Journal of Public Affairs17(3), e1661. https://doi.org/10.1002/pa.1661.
Jørgensen, E. J. B., & Novotny, A. (2020). The university ecosystem and the internationalization of spin-off firms. In Research Handbook on Start-Up Incubation Ecosystems. Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788973533
Kalar, B., & Antoncic, B. (2015). The entrepreneurial university, academic activities and technology and knowledge transfer in four European countries. Technovation36(2), 1-11.
Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. Guilford publications.
Kock, N. (2015). Common method bias in PLS-SEM: A full collinearity assessment approach. International Journal of e-Collaboration, 11(4), 1-10.
Lahikainen, K., Kolhinen, J., Ruskovaara, E., & Pihkala, T. (2019). Challenges to the development of an entrepreneurial university ecosystem: The case of a Finnish university campus. Industry and Higher Education33(2), 96-107. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0950422218815806.
Landry, R., Saïhi, M., Amara, N., & Ouimet, M. (2010). Evidence on how academics manage their portfolio of knowledge transfer activities. Research Policy39(10), 1387-1403.
Li, N. (2015). The internationalisation of Chinese transnational entrepreneurial firms: A comparative study with indigenous counterparts in Canada and UK (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).  University of Glasgow.
Liu, W., & Liu, Z. (2021). International student management in China: Growing pains and system transitions. Higher Education Research & Development40(4), 781-794. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1792848.
Markuerkiaga, L., Errasti, N., & Igartua, J. I. (2014). Success factors for managing an entrepreneurial university: Developing an integrative framework. Industry and Higher Education28(4), 233-244. https://doi.org/10.5367%2Fihe.2014.0214.
Mazgan, N. (2011). Success factors and developmental barriers of spin-off enterprises in the Slovenian market (research paper). University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Miller, K., Alexander, A., Cunningham, J. A., & Albats, E. (2018). Entrepreneurial academics and academic entrepreneurs: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Technology Management77(1-3), 9-37. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2018.091710.
Mobarki, M., Ziyae, B., Rezvani, M., & Tajpour, M. (2021). Conceptual model of internationalization of the Entrepreneurial University with an interpretive structural modeling approach. Journal of Research on Management of Teaching in Marine Sciences, 8(4), 186-209. https://doi.org/10.22034/rmt.2021.530319.1841
Mohiuddin, M., Hosseini, E., Faradonbeh, S. B., & Sabokro, M. (2022). Achieving human resource management sustainability in universities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(2), 1-19 https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020928
Navarro-García, A., Peris-Oritz, M., & Barrera-Barrera, R. (2016). Market intelligence effect on perceived psychic distance, strategic behaviours and export performance in industrial SMEs. Journal of business & industrial marketing, 31(3), 365-380. https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-03-2013-0065.
Newbert, S. L. (2007). Empirical research on the resource‐based view of the firm: An assessment and suggestions for future research. Strategic Management Journal28(2), 121-146. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.573.
Nikraftar, T., Hosseini, E., & Mohammadi, E. (2021). The factors influencing technological entrepreneurship in nanotechnology businesses. Revista de Gestão 29(1), 76-99. https://doi.org/10.1108/REGE-02-2021-0029
Pancenko, E., Ivanova, T., & Jasjko, D. (2012). Social entrepreneurship: diversity of theoretical concepts and practical applications in case of Latvia. Journal of Business Management, 6(1), 1-17.
Parry, E., & Battista, V. (2019). The impact of emerging technologies on work: A review of the evidence and implications for the human resource function. Emerald Open Research1(5), 21-36. https://doi.org/10.12688/emeraldopenres.12907.1
Passaro, R., Quinto, I., & Thomas, A. (2018). The impact of higher education on entrepreneurial intention and human capital. Journal of intellectual capital. Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 135-156. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-04-2017-0056
Perényi, A., & Losoncz, M. (2018). A systematic review of international entrepreneurship special issue articles. Sustainability, 10(10), 1-26.
Petruzzelli, A. M. (2011). The impact of technological relatedness, prior ties, and geographical distance on university–industry collaborations: A joint-patent analysis. Technovation31(7), 309-319.
Philpott, K., Dooley, L., O’Reilly, C., & Lupton, G. (2011). The entrepreneurial university: Examining the underlying academic tensions. Technovation31(4), 161-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2010.12.003.
Rae, D., & Wang, C. L. (Eds.). (2015). Entrepreneurial learning: New perspectives in research, education and practice. Routledge. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315857817
Ratten, V. (2017). Entrepreneurial universities: The role of communities, people and places. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy. 11(03), 310-315.  https://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JEC-03-2017-0021.
Roopchund, R. (2020). SMEs in Mauritius: Economic growth, employment and entrepreneurial culture. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business39(4), 585-596. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJESB.2020.106475.
Salamzadeh, A., & Tajpour, M. (2021). Identification of the challenges of media startup creation in Iran. Journal of Entrepreneurship Development, 13(4), 561-580. 10.22059/jed.2020.307214.653424
Schillo, R. S. (2018). Based spin-offs as agents in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Journal of Technology Transfer43(1), 222-239. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-016-9484-5.
Schmitz, A., Urbano, D., Dandolini, G. A., de Souza, J. A., & Guerrero, M. (2017). Innovation and entrepreneurship in the academic setting: A systematic literature review. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal13(2), 369-395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-016-0401-z.
Schnurbus, V., & Edvardsson, I. R. (2022). The third mission Among Nordic universities: A systematic literature review. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research66(2), 238-260.
Tajeddini, K. (2016). Financial orientation, product innovation and firm performance—An empirical study in the Japanese SMEs. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 13(03), 1640005. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0219877016400058
Tajeddini, K., & Mueller, S. (2019). Moderating effect of environmental dynamism on the relationship between a firm’s entrepreneurial orientation and financial performance. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 9(4), 1-22.  https://doi.org/10.1515/erj-2018-0283
Tajpour, M. (2021). Towards the entrepreneurial university. Journal of Organizational Culture Communications and Conflict, 25(3), 4-5.
Tajpour, M., Demiryurek, K., & Abaci, N. I. (2021). Design the pattern of increasing satisfaction for international students: A qualitative study with the grounded theory approach. International Journal of Management in Education, 15(5), 458-476. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJMIE.2021.117589
Tajpour, M., Kawamorita, H., & Demiryurek, K. (2020). Towards the third generation of universities with an entrepreneurial approach. International Journal of Techno entrepreneurship, 4(2), 122-133. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTE.2020.113927
Tajpour, M., Salamzadeh, A., Salamzadeh, Y., & Braga, V. (2021). Investigating social capital, trust and commitment in family business: Case of media firms. Journal of Family Business Management. 12(4), 938-95.  https://doi.org/10.1108/JFBM-02-2021-0013
Take, H., & Shoraku, A. (2018). Universities’ expectations for study-abroad programs fostering internationalization: Educational policies. Journal of Studies in International Education22(1), 37-52. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1028315317724557.
Taucean, I. M., Strauti, A. G., & Tion, M. (2018). Roadmap to entrepreneurial university–Case study. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences238(1), 582-589. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2018.04.038.
Tayauova, G., & Bektas, C. (2018). An overview of entrepreneurial universities and main barriers to entrepreneurial university development in Kazakhstan, 124(2), 245-253. https://doi.org/10.26577/be-2018-2-2145
Teixeira, A. A., & Coimbra, C. (2014). The determinants of the internationalization speed of Portuguese university spin-offs: An empirical investigation. Journal of International Entrepreneurship12(3), 270-308. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10843-014-0132-6.
Thomas, R. M. (2003). Blending qualitative and quantitative research methods in theses and dissertations. Corwin Press.
Verger, A. (2014). Why do policy-makers adopt global education policies? Toward a research framework on the varying role of ideas in education reform. Current Issues in Comparative Education16(2), 14-29.
Wright, M., Siegel, D. S., & Mustar, P. (2017). An emerging ecosystem for student start-ups. The Journal of Technology Transfer42(4), 909-922. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-017-9558-z.
Wu, A., & Zhou, L. (2018). Understanding earliness of internationalization and its impact on postentry geographic diversity of international young ventures. Journal of International Marketing26(2), 62-79. https://doi.org/10.1509%2Fjim.16.0123.
Wynn, M., & Jones, P. (2017). Knowledge transfer partnerships and the entrepreneurial university. Industry and Higher Education31(4), 267-278.
Yonezawa, Y. (2017). Internationalization management in Japanese universities: The effects of institutional structures and cultures. Journal of Studies in International Education21(4), 375-390. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1028315317706412.
Yong, T. Y. (2022). The knowledge economy and entrepreneurial university policy objectives in Cameroon’s public universities: The case of the University of Buea.5 (1), 358-363.
Zaman, K., & Mohsin, A. (2014). Internationalization of universities: Emerging trends, challenges and opportunities. Journal of Economic Info1(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.31580/jei.v1i1.100.
Ziyae, B., Jusoh, R., & Madadian, H. (2020). Innovative scenario planning of petrochemical enterprises in the Iranian community. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.14 (3), 465-480. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-04-2020-0054.
 Ziyae, B., Rezvani, M., Mobarki, M. H., & Tajpour, M. (2019). The impact of academic spinoffs components in development of internationalization of universities. Journal of Iranian Higher Education, 11(3), 27-48. http://ihej.ir/article-1-1423-en.html