What do we [not] know about technology entrepreneurship research?by João J. M. Ferreira, Fernando A. F. Ferreira, Cristina I. M. A. S. Fernandes, Marjan S. Jalali, Mário L. Raposo, Carla S. Marques

Int Entrep Manag J


Management Information Systems / Management of Technology and Innovation



What do we [not] know about technology entrepreneurship research?

Jo?o J. M. Ferreira1,2 & Fernando A. F. Ferreira3,4 &

Cristina I. M. A. S. Fernandes2,5 & Marjan S. Jalali3 &

M?rio L. Raposo1,2 & Carla S. Marques6,7 # Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Abstract This study aims to review what we do (and do not) know about technology entrepreneurship (TE) research to date. Based on a categorized bibliometric analysis resulting from a systematic review of 135 scientific articles published in refereed journals over the past 27 years (1986?2013), we identify the core domains of TE, its intellectual structure, the scientific journals with a major impact in this field of research, and the affiliation and collaboration networks within it. Specifically, through a detailed

Int Entrep Manag J

DOI 10.1007/s11365-015-0359-2 * Jo?o J. M. Ferreira jjmf@ubi.pt

Fernando A. F. Ferreira fernando.alberto.ferreira@iscte.pt

Cristina I. M. A. S. Fernandes kristina.fernandes81@gmail.com

Marjan S. Jalali marjan.jalali@iscte.pt

M?rio L. Raposo mraposo@ubi.pt

Carla S. Marques smarques@utad.pt 1 Department of Business and Economics, University of Beira Interior, Covilh?, Portugal 2 NECE Research Unit, Covilh?, Portugal 3 ISCTE Business School, BRU-IUL, University Institute of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal 4 Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 381523120, USA 5 Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal 6 Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, University of Tr?s-os-Montes e Alto

Douro, Vila Real, Portugal 7 CETRAD Research Unit, Vila Real, Portugal analysis of article co-citations within the TE area, this study provides co-citation networks of authors, journals, and their respective clusters, revealing their rankings in terms of contributions to the TE literature. This comprehensive analysis can be used to enhance our understanding of TE and support further research in this field.

Keywords Technology entrepreneurship (TE) . Knowledge transfer . Bibliometric analysis . Co-citations . Intellectual structure . Scientific journals . State of the art


Entrepreneurs play a fundamental role in modern economy, as they are responsible for pioneering initiatives and business creation, which allow for sustainable economic development (cf. Audretsch et al. 2006; Schramm 2006; Baumol et al. 2007). Indeed, entrepreneurs are frequently characterized as both catalysts of new ideas and as leaders who put those ideas into practice (see Baumol 1968, 1993, 2005). This assumption is complemented by Casson (1982, 1987, 1997, 2003), who argues that entrepreneurs create companies explicitly to deal with the complexity of the business environment, developing goods and services that aim to meet market needs. Innovators, on the other hand, tend to see company results as a residual of the activity developed, since for them the decision to innovate stems, above all, from the intention to commercialize an invention (Spulber 2009, 2011; Gans and Stern 2003). This supports the classic approach to entrepreneurial innovation presented by Schumpeter (1934), who claimed that the innovator represents the will and the action required to innovate. Within this reasoning, the decision to innovate is associated with two domains of action: entrepreneurship and technology transfer (cf. Spulber 2011).

Technology transfer has frequently been associated with knowledge techniques that allow individual and organizational know-how to be shared among individuals, companies, universities, public research institutes and other economic agents (cf. DiMaggio and Powell 1983; Melkers et al. 1993; Storper 1995). Walsh and

Kirchhoff (2002) argue that certain forms of technology transfer occur between and within organizations, and that the dynamics behind such processes justify significant attention, which has recently been devoted to the technology entrepreneurship (TE) phenomenon; i.e., the body of knowledge that explicitly addresses the role of human initiative in the development of new technologies (Garud and

Karn?e 2003). The remarkable progress in this field of research has required both its terminology and content to be reviewed, and two publications have already begun this work (Phan and Foo 2004; Beckman et al. 2012). Specifically, Phan and Foo (2004) organized a special issue of the Journal of Business Venturing, in which six articles were selected revealing a great diversity of methodological and pedagogical theory in this rich and promising field of research. Beckman et al. (2012), in turn, put together a special issue of the Strategic Entrepreneurship

Journal, in which a collectively approach to the role that entrepreneurs should play in the heart of technology ventures was proposed. According to the authors, entrepreneurs? talent, experience and actions are particularly influential when complex technological advances play a critical role in business. It is worth noting, however, that all the papers published in these two special issues have a narrow focus in

Int Entrep Manag J terms of topic and number of publications analyzed. No prior evidence of a systematic literature review using bibliometric tools in this area has been found.

Underlying the scientific structure of a research field, is typically a network of informal communication links among the most influential researchers in the area, which is also important to analyze. In light of these considerations, and to foster further understanding of this phenomenon, our study aims to map scientific publications, intellectual structures and research trends in the area of TE, addressing the broad question: BWhat do we know about TE research?^, and aiming at the same time, to identify what we have still to learn about this research. Specifically, we propose to: (i) identify the progress achieved in the TE research field; (ii) determine the research lines that constitute the intellectual framework in this field; and the scientific journals with the highest impact in the area; and (iii) identify promising topics and themes for further research in TE, based on what we do not yet know about the field.