The Effectiveness of University Knowledge Spillovers: Performance Differences between University Spinoffs and Corporate Spinoffs

50 Pages Posted: 25 May 2011

See all articles by Karl Wennberg

Karl Wennberg

Linkoping University - Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS)

Johan Wiklund

Syracuse University

Mike Wright

Nottingham University Business School

Date Written: May 23, 2011

Abstract

While much prior research has focused upon how Technology Transfer Offices and other contextual characteristics shape the level of university spinoffs (USO), there is little research on entrepreneurial potential among individual academics, and to the best of our knowledge, no comparative studies with other types of spinoffs exist to date. In this paper we focus on an important but neglected aspect of knowledge transfer from academic research involving the indirect flow to entrepreneurship by individuals with a university education background who become involved in new venture creation by means of corporate spinoffs (CSO) after gaining industrial experience, rather than leaving university employment to found a new venture as an academic spinoff. The commercial knowledge gained in industry is potentially more valuable for entrepreneurial performance compared to the academic knowledge gained by additional research experience at a university. This leads us to posit that the average performance of CSOs will be higher than comparable USOs, but the gains from founder’s prior experiences will be relatively higher among USOs whose founders lack the corporate context. We investigate these propositions in a comparative study tracking the complete population of USOs and CSOs among the Swedish knowledge-intensive sectors between 1994 and 2002.

Keywords: spin-out, knowledge spillovers, university entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: H52, I28, M13

Suggested Citation

Wennberg, Karl and Wiklund, Johan and Wright, Mike, The Effectiveness of University Knowledge Spillovers: Performance Differences between University Spinoffs and Corporate Spinoffs (May 23, 2011). Research Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1850880

Karl Wennberg (Contact Author)

Linkoping University - Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS) ( email )

Norrköping, 601 74
Sweden

Johan Wiklund

Syracuse University ( email )

Whitman School of Management
720 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Mike Wright

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 115 951 5257 (Phone)
+44 115 951 5204 (Fax)

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