The role of an entrepreneurial leader in developing an entrepreneurial university: A case study of a state university in Sri Lanka


  • R. Senathiraja University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • K.K. Kapiyangoda University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • S. Buvanendra University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


The concept of the entrepreneurial university (EU) is known as a major driver to promote and encourage an ecosystem conducive for a country’s development. The purpose of our study is to explore how entrepreneurial leaders build an EU through assessing the vice chancellors’ role in implementation of this concept in a Sri Lankan state university. A qualitative approach is adopted through interviews with current and former vice chancellors of the University of Delta and incorporating documentary evidence. The Triple Helix Model is used to explore the leaders’ role in building an EU and revealed that vice chancellors contributed through acting as key collaborating agents between the university, government and industry, while integrating the agents into a single platform, being creative and innovative, strengthening staff and providing leadership for projects to uplift quality of higher education. All these activities link in building an EU which ensures producing graduates possessing entrepreneurial behavior and bringing about
convergence of academic entrepreneurship and securing quality of the higher educational institution, which ultimately leads to building a sustainable higher education institution.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial university, entrepreneurial leadership, state university, qualityeducation, triple helix model, Sri Lanka