Title page for ETD etd-8897-142617

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author McArthur, Maureen . H. III
Author's Email Address mmcarthu@vt.edu
URN etd-8897-142617
Title The Impacts of Owning Private Companies on University Faculty: The Experiences of Biotechnology Faculty and University Administrators in One University
Degree Master of Science
Department Science and Technology Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burian, Richard M. Committee Chair
Cramer, Carole L. Committee Member
Downey, Gary L. Committee Member
Hardcastle, Gary L. Committee Member
  • Faculty Entrepreneurs
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Biotechnology
  • University-Industry Relationships
Date of Defense 1997-06-18
Availability unrestricted
It has recently become rather common for life science faculty to own a private company related to university research, an extreme form of entrepreneurial activity. Yet our understanding of how this changes the experiences of the entrepreneurial scientists and administrators is limited. This thesis, based primarily on in-depth interviews with three entrepreneurial biotechnology faculty, their graduate students and employees, their department heads, and university-level administrators, reveals how scientists and administrators are responding to conflicts and others' perceptions of conflict arising from their entrepreneurial activity. The faculty and administrators organize these conflicts into five categories: issues which they consider to be genuine conflicts but do not act upon; issues which they consider to be genuine conflicts and do act upon; issues which they do not consider to pose genuine conflicts but which they act upon because others perceive those issues to be conflicts; issues which they consider to be conflicts but which none of the principals expect to be experienced at their particular university; and issues which they do not consider to raise genuine conflicts whether experienced at their university or elsewhere. This thesis also shows how entrepreneurial faculty are incorporating business into their teaching and are altering their interactions with academic peers and graduate students all due to their entrepreneurial activity.
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