Skip to main content
An examination of tenure decisions for the field of entrepreneurship
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2003: Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research Conference (2004)
  • Todd A Finkle, The University of Akron
  • Phil E. Stetz, Texas Tech University
  • David Deeds, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
The field of entrepreneurship is still relatively young compared to other academic fields.  Over the years, the field has been criticized for a lack of rigor in its research, lack of quality journals, and lack of a theoretical foundation.  More established academic paradigms even question the legitimacy of the field of entrepreneurship.  As a result, junior professors have stated, anecdotally, that by specializing in entrepreneurship, they are taking a high risk and possibly jeopardizing their ability to obtain tenure.  This is especially true at many top business schools (e.g., Wisconsin, USC, MIT, Maryland, etc.), which tend to discount the quality of entrepreneurship journals during a tenure review.  As a result, many faculty at top schools have had problems obtaining tenure at these institutions.
The purpose of this study is to enhance our understanding of the outcomes of tenure decisions for faculty who had a specialization in entrepreneurship at the time they went up for tenure.  Questions were formulated in a questionnaire to determine how research, teaching, and service achievements related to whether a faculty member did or did not earn tenure. The sample for our study was all members of the Academy of Management’s Entrepreneurship Division. Surveys were pre-tested and then sent to all members through e-mail. We received 150 usable responses.  Descriptive statistics and factor analysis will be used to help uncover the different dimensions underlying tenure review, given the type of institution, and a model depicting the interrelationships among these various dimensions leading to positive (tenure) or negative (denied tenure) outcomes will be suggested. This is a groundbreaking study for the field of entrepreneurship because no one, to our knowledge, has attempted to identify the actual dimensions (whether they be formal or informal) related to tenure decisions in the field. The results of the study will significantly enhance our understanding of the dynamics that are occurring at all types of universities throughout the world. The information presented from this study will assist both junior and senior faculty in their future decisions. 
  • Tenure,
  • Entrepreneurship,
  • Tenure Track,
  • Research,
  • Teaching,
  • Service,
  • Tenure Decisions,
  • Politics,
  • Legitimacy,
  • Tenured Faculty,
  • Requirements for tenure,
  • Rejected for Tenure,
  • Tenure in Higher Education,
  • Research Tenure,
  • Field of Entrepreneurship,
  • Startups,
  • Startup
Publication Date
Citation Information
Finkle, T.A., Stetz, P., & Deeds, D. (2004). An examination of tenure decisions for the field of entrepreneurship. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2003: Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Edited by William D. Bygrave, Candida Brush, Per Davidson, Patricia Greene, R. Harrison, James O. Feit, Miri Lerner, G. Dale Meyer, Jeffrey Sohl, & A. Zacharakis. Babson College: MA.