Beyond the Water Cooler: Using Socialization to Understand Use and Impact of Networking Services on Collaboration in a Business Incubator

15 Pages Posted: 22 May 2017

See all articles by Edwin J. Nijssen

Edwin J. Nijssen

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Michel van der Borgh

Copenhagen Business School

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

Scholars and policymakers claim that Business Incubators (BIs) add value by facilitating internal cooperation between tenant firms. Taking a tenant perspective, this research investigates the impact of a tenant's length of BI tenure on the use of formal internal networking services the BI management provides, and then on the tenant's level of intra‐BI cooperation. The premise is that BI tenants use and benefit more from formal internal networking services when their socialization through participation in BI informal networking activities is low. When socialization is high they will enjoy a stronger direct effect of tenant tenure on cooperation with other tenants. Findings from data collected from a Dutch BI confirm the premise of our moderated‐mediation model. Results also show that both mechanisms complement each other and that each contributes significantly to tenants' sales growth. It lends support to the effectiveness of BI formal internal networking services, but also stresses the importance of socialization through informal networking activities.

Suggested Citation

Nijssen, Edwin J. and van der Borgh, Michel, Beyond the Water Cooler: Using Socialization to Understand Use and Impact of Networking Services on Collaboration in a Business Incubator (June 2017). R&D Management, Vol. 47, Issue 3, pp. 443-457, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2970798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/radm.12261

Edwin J. Nijssen (Contact Author)

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

PO Box 513
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

Michel Van der Borgh

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Copenhagen
Denmark

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