The Influence of University Departments on the Evolution of Entrepreneurial Competencies in Spin-Off Ventures

48 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2016

See all articles by Einar Rasmussen

Einar Rasmussen

Nord Universtiy

Simon Mosey

University of Nottingham - Institute for Enterprise and Innovation

Mike Wright

Imperial College London

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The influence of the university department upon spin-off venture evolution is complex and dynamic. We examine how the university department context influences the spin-off process from the perspectives of both the spin-off venture and the department. By comparing the development of entrepreneurial competencies within spin-offs based in different departments at the same universities we observed significant differences in early venture performance. Small differences in initial departmental support from management and senior academics for gaining commercial experience and spending time exploring the commercial opportunity were seen to have a major impact upon the subsequent spin-off development path. Supported ventures gained momentum as the department helped develop entrepreneurial competencies and influenced how these competencies were developed from external actors outside the department. By contrast, a lack of departmental support for entrepreneurship severely constrained the evolution of spin-offs regardless of university level policies and practices. This emphasizes the need for a shift in focus from the well-studied university level to the relatively neglected department level to help explain institutional differences in university spin-off activity.

Keywords: Academic entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial competencies; New venture evolution; University department; University spin-off

Suggested Citation

Rasmussen, Einar and Mosey, Simon and Wright, Mike, The Influence of University Departments on the Evolution of Entrepreneurial Competencies in Spin-Off Ventures (2014). Research Policy, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2857087

Einar Rasmussen (Contact Author)

Nord Universtiy ( email )

Post Office Box 1490
Bodø, Nordland 8049
Norway

Simon Mosey

University of Nottingham - Institute for Enterprise and Innovation ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom
+44 0 115 951 3763 (Phone)

Mike Wright

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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