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Exploring the Relationship Between Scientist Human Capital and Firm Performance: The Case of Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurs in the SBIR Program

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Author Info

  • Andrew A. Toole

    ()
    (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901)

  • Dirk Czarnitzki

    ()
    (Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy, and Innovation and Steunpunt O& O Indicatoren, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; and Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), 68161 Mannheim, Germany)

Abstract

There is an emerging debate in the scholarly literature regarding the extent to which academic human capital contributes to firm performance. This debate centers on the nature of an academic scientist's human capital and its institutional specificity. Using data on the human capital of biomedical scientists developed during their careers in academe, this paper analyzes how the depth of their scientifically and commercially oriented academic human capital contributes to firm performance when these scientists subsequently start or join for-profit firms. We find that the scientific and commercial components of an academic scientist's human capital have differential effects on the performance of research and invention tasks at the firm. We also find that the contribution of an academic scientist to a firm's patent productivity is decreasing with the depth of their scientifically oriented human capital, all else constant. These results support the view that academic human capital is heterogeneous and has an institutional specificity that mediates its value when applied in a commercialization environment.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1080.0913
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 101-114

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:1:p:101-114

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Keywords: academic entrepreneurship; SBIR; human capital; commercialization; firm performance;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rivera, Rene & Sampedro, Jose Luis & Dutrenit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2009. "How productive are academic researchers in agriculture-related sciences? The Mexican case," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Stefan Krabel & Donald Siegel & Viktor Slavtchev, 2012. "The internationalization of science and its influence on academic entrepreneurship," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 192-212, April.
  3. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian & Toole, Andrew A., 2013. "University spinoffs and the 'performance premium'," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-004, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Jose Maria Millan & Emilio Congregado & Concepcion Roman & Mirjam van Praag & Andre van Stel, 2011. "The Value of an Educated Population for an Individual's Entrepreneurship Success," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Margherita Balconi & Roberto Fontana, 2011. "Entry and innovation: an analysis of the fabless semiconductor business," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 87-106, July.
  6. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hussinger, Katrin & Schneider, Cedric, 2008. "Commercializing Academic Research: The Qaulity of Faculty Patenting," Working Papers 05-2008, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  7. Rivera, Rene & Sampedro, Jose Luis & Dutrenit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2009. "How productive are academic researchers in agriculture-related sciences? The Mexican case," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Rivera-Huerta, René & Dutrénit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Sampedro, José Luis & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2011. "Do linkages between farmers and academic researchers influence researcher productivity? The Mexican case," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 932-942, September.
  9. Mahoney, Joseph T., 2012. "Towards a Stakeholder Theory of Strategic Management," Working Papers 12-0100, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.

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