Shouting From the Ivory Tower: A Marketing Approach to Improve Communication of Academic Research to Entrepreneurs

Authors

  • Paul R. Steffens,

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    • Paul R. Steffens is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
  • Clinton S. Weeks,

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    • Clinton S. Weeks is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
  • Per Davidsson,

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    • Per Davidsson is a Professor, Director and Talbot Family Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; and Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden.
  • Lauren Isaak

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    • Lauren Isaak is a graduate student at the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Please send correspondence to: Paul R. Steffens, tel.: +617 31384243; e-mail: p.steffens@qut.edu.au, to Clinton S. Weeks at clinton.weeks@qut.edu.au, to Per Davidsson at per.davidsson@qut.edu.au, and to Lauren Isaak at lauren.isaak@qut.edu.au.

Abstract

Evidence-based practice in entrepreneurship requires effective communication of research findings. We focus on how research synopses can “promote” research to entrepreneurs. Drawing on marketing communications literature, we examine how message characteristics of research synopses affect their appeal. We demonstrate the utility of conjoint analysis in this context and find message length, media richness, and source credibility to have positive influences. We find mixed support for a hypothesized negative influence of jargon, and for our predictions that participants’ involvement with academic research moderates these effects. Exploratory analyses reveal latent classes of entrepreneurs with differing preferences, particularly for message length and jargon.

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