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By Liz Warren-Pederson

bookThe 21st volume of an ongoing series of entrepreneurship-focused books edited by founding McGuire Center director Gary Libecap and current director Sherry Hoskinson is out.Spanning Boundaries and Disciplines: University Technology Commercialization in the Idea Age brings together studies from organizational behavior, marketing, economic, and sociological perspectives to address the challenges that can arise when individuals from technical, business, and legal environments converge on the goal of commercialization.

“We’ve directed each volume to illuminate topics that are important to the development of entrepreneurship,” explained Hoskinson. “There are many such topics that we simply don’t know enough about yet.”

For instance, another recent volume focused on the problem of how to incentivize university faculty to commercialize their discoveries. “What we found was that faculty members tend to be less compelled by financial reasons than by a desire to realize the social value of their innovations.”

The finding came from a colloquium series that engaged faculty at institutions across the country, and inspired a follow-up volume of the book that aimed to create a framework for measuring the social value of innovation.

“We actually created a pilot program based on the framework that’s been in use in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program,” added Hoskinson.

The current volume will be released in early October and explores boundary spanning in the critically shifting conditions of technology commercialization in universities.  The first four chapters discuss recent research on cross-cultural aspects of commercialization in this environment, and the last four focus on educational responses to the issues that arise. The coming volume (fall, 2011) will take into account the vast changes in the human capital market.

The chapters were presented in a faculty development workshop on graduate education for professionals in innovation-related careers, ‘‘Technology Commercialization: Crossing Cultures and Disciplines,’’ hosted in February 2010 at the College of Management of the Georgia Institute of Technology, with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Chapter authors represent the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Harvard Business School, University of Texas-Austin Law School, Brown University, Case Western Reserve University, Georgia Tech, and many more.