HEIs and Temporality in Entrepreneurship

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This article aims to contribute to research that examines the relationship between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and start-ups through their involvement in incubators. We draw attention to how HEIs have a vital role to play in developing students' temporal awareness. Developing temporal awareness is one of the key challenges for universities and is still a relatively undefined concept. Previous work that describes the nature of entrepreneurship within a multi-time-period framework provides a conceptual grounding for exploring the temporal dynamics of the entrepreneurial process. In fact, there is literature that suggests that the futurity that entrepreneurship must confront introduces the possibility that the entrepreneur may, by his own creative actions, construct the future as he or she wishes it to be. We surmise that creating and developing new venture ideas within HEI incubators provides an opportunity to develop temporal awareness through temporal imagination and the projection of probable and possible future trajectories of action. We explore these temporal practices using material gathered through a longitudinal study of four student entrepreneurs in a university incubator. The case studies were constructed from real time and retrospective data, typically by interviewing the lead potential entrepreneur. The study confirmed that HEI's are key institutions for cultivating students' temporal imagination. This has practical relevance for university-based entrepreneurship. If HEIs are to have more prominent roles in entrepreneurship education, new interventions are required to generate and develop venture ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
PublisherAcademic Conferences International Limited
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
EventEuropean Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneruship - Jyväskylä University School of, Jyväskylä, Finland
Duration: 15 Sep 201616 Sep 2016


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneruship
Abbreviated titleECIE


  • heis
  • temporal imagination
  • incubators
  • futurity


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