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

Riccardo Fini, Einar Rasmussen, Johan Wiklund, Mike Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-894
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • entrepreneurship
  • management theory
  • organization theory
  • science commercialization
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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