Despite the vitality and dynamism that the field of entrepreneurship has experienced in the last decade, the issue of whether it comprises an effective network of (in)formal communication linkages among the most influential scholars within the area has yet to be examined in depth. This study follows a formal selection procedure to delimit the ‘relational environment’ of the field of entrepreneurship and to analyze the existence and characterization of (in)visible college(s) based on a theoretically well-grounded framework, thus offering a comprehensive and up-to-date empirical analysis of entrepreneurship research. Based on more than a 1,000 papers published between 2005 and 2010 in seven core entrepreneurship journals and the corresponding (85,000) citations, we found that entrepreneurship is an (increasingly) autonomous, legitimate and cohesive (in)visible college, fine tuned through the increasing visibility of certain subject specialties (e.g., family business, innovation, technology and policy). Moreover, the rather dense formal links that characterize the entrepreneurship (in)visible college are accompanied by a reasonably solid network of informal relations maintained and sustained by the mobility of ‘stars’ and highly influential scholars. The limited internationalization of the entrepreneurship community, reflected in the almost total absence of non-English-speaking authors/studies/outlets, stands as a major quest for the field.
The study of university–industry (U–I) relations has been the focus of growing interest in the literature. However, to date, a quantitative overview of the existing literature in this field has yet to be accomplished. This study intends to fill this gap through the use of bibliometric techniques. By using three different yet interrelated databases—a database containing the articles published on U–I links, which encompass 534 articles published between 1986 and 2011; a ‘roots’ database, which encompasses over 20,000 references to the articles published on U–I relations; and a ‘influences’ database which includes more than 15,000 studies that cited the articles published on U–I relations—we obtained the following results: (1) ‘Academic spin offs’, ‘Scientific and technological policies’ and (to a greater extent) ‘Knowledge Transfer Channels’ are topics in decline; (2) ‘Characteristics of universities, firms and scientists’, along with ‘Regional spillovers’, show remarkable growth, and ‘Measures and indicators’ can be considered an emergent topic; (3) clear tendency towards ‘empirical’ works, although ‘appreciative and empirical’ papers constitute the bulk of this literature; (4) the multidisciplinary nature of the intellectual roots of the U–I literature—an interesting blending of neoclassical economics (focused on licensing, knowledge transfer and high-tech entrepreneurship) and heterodox approaches (mainly related to systems of innovation) is observed in terms of intellectual roots; (5) the influence of the U–I literature is largely concentrated on the industrialized world and on the research area of innovation and technology (i.e., some ‘scientific endogamy’ is observed).