Frames in the Institutionalization of the Entrepreneurial University Model

Event start date
Event start time

Pinni A building, Paavo Koli auditorium, address: Kanslerinrinne 1.


Doctoral defence of MSc, MBA Charisse Reyes


Frames in the Institutionalization of the Entrepreneurial University Model : The Case of National University of Singapore

The field of science of the dissertation is Administrative science.

The opponent is docent Lars Geschwind (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden). Docent Jussi Kivistö acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is English.

Exploring the Institutionalization of the Entrepreneurial University through Frame Analysis

The transformation of higher education institutions in various contexts has recently become an interesting topic among scholars, particularly for the trajectory of universities that have chosen to pursue the entrepreneurial path. In some countries, entrepreneurship policies have guided the transition of universities to become more proactive institutions. Such policies also inform the importance of sustainable higher education institutions and as much as possible, less dependency on state funding. This study discusses the issues and situations that are part of building up the entrepreneurial university based on the government’s policy framework for promoting entrepreneurship. In adopting business practices in the operations of higher education institutions, the findings of this study revealed that there are implications on the way academics understand and accept the need for universities to become more entrepreneurial. Regardless of whether entrepreneurial transformation is caused by external or internal pressures, it is common to observe how members of the university community express contradictory perspectives, goals, and motivations during this move. The research inquiries are concerned on the extent and factors that contribute to the institutionalization of the entrepreneurial university model, in which the National University of Singapore (NUS) was considered as a case study institution. In examining the university’s transformation, this study was aimed towards delineating the following aspects: (1) the behavior and practices within departments, faculties, and independent institutes concerning their approach to income generating activities; (2) the institutional activities’ link to the national policy on entrepreneurship; (3) the roles and contributions of various actors in cultivating entrepreneurial activities at the university; and (4) the commitment of the academic community to align the tasks, activities, and goals of the university with the government’s policy framework on entrepreneurship.

This study has strived to advance the analysis of various issues and situations in higher education by considering a multidisciplinary approach. The framework of institutionalization from the healthcare sector and the categories of frames from environmental conflict research were adopted. Herein, a qualitative approach to frame analysis was applied to analyze the institutionalization situation at NUS. Analysis of empirical findings was guided by the four categories of frames derived from environmental conflict research: identity frames, characterization frames, power frames, and risk and information frames.

The empirical findings highlight the ambiguous setup of NUS as an entrepreneurial university. Institutional members from the university administration as well as teaching and professional staff have framed their experience according to the actual conditions affecting entrepreneurial universities such as NUS. These frames are related to disciplinary identities, institutional configuration, power of important actors and risk perceptions regarding entrepreneurial activities. In addition, the “spirit of enterprise” statement that is indicated in the vision, mission, and strategy of NUS was considered relevant in the analysis of the varying and malleable notions of an entrepreneurial university. The manner that it has been interpreted in the documents and by the interviewees also influences the institutionalization of the entrepreneurial university model if the progress at different phases or stages is to be considered. As such, the current condition of institutionalizing the entrepreneurial university model at NUS is a work in progress because of the need to address various operational barriers while working towards achieving entrepreneurial goals. This study offers important insights about universities in newly industrialized economies particularly in such a situation wherein entrepreneurship is institutionalized as a policy and activity in Singapore.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2297, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1800, Tampere University Press 2017.

The dissertation can be ordered at: Juvenes e-bookstore or by e-mail:

Additional information