Why Do Life Scientists Decide to Become Entrepreneurs? The Role of Motivations

  •  Nadia Di Paola    
  •  Rosanna Spano    
  •  Roberto Vona    
  •  Adele Caldarelli    


The linkage between entrepreneurial ideas and actions continues to be central to the entrepreneurship debate. However, the possible implications of the various entrepreneurial motivations for the process are still largely understudied. On this basis, our study aims to contextualise the theoretical model linking entrepreneurial intentions, motivations and actions, with particular reference to academic entrepreneurship within the Life Sciences. We use the qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) set-theoretic method to process data gathered amongst 25 scholars active in the Life Sciences context. We carried out the analysis in two steps. The first reveals that a condition which determines entrepreneurial intentions is the absence of normative beliefs together with the presence of control beliefs. In contrast, the research highlights that the entrepreneurial intentions are able to determine the entrepreneurial action. However, as the second step shows, these alone are not sufficient and need to be complemented by extrinsic motivations, that is, those correlated to external incentives/benefits (above all of an economic nature). Our findings offer interesting insights into the whole phenomenon, revealing that the reference to specific contexts may well determine implications which differ from those already detected in the literature, with undeniable effects in terms of managerial and policy implications.

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