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Market orientation and academic spin-off firms

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  • Tindara Abbate

    ()

  • Fabrizio Cesaroni

    ()

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    Abstract

    Purpose: Academic spin-off firms are considered an important mechanism to transfer technological knowledge from university to industry, although they often show a low growth rate. One possible cause is the lack of proper marketing capabilities, since spin-off managers tend to reduce the role of marketing to the implementation of mere tactical activities. This study analyses whether spin-off firms adopt a market orientation and the effect it produces on firms' economic and innovation performance. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical analysis is based on both quantitative survey data and in-depth interviews, referring to a unique sample including Italian and Spanish spin-off companies. Findings: Results highlight that MKTOR and MARKOR measurement scales show different abilities to capture the implementation of market orientation by sampled firms. We find that the generation and dissemination of information on customers and competitors directly affect firms' ability to develop technological innovations and gain profits. Nevertheless, market orientation also constitutes a challenge to spin-offs, and may eventually generate inefficiencies when external technological conditions require firms to respond quickly to environmental stimuli. Practical implications: The findings of this study are relevant to academic spin-off managers who are responsible for adopting, implementing and maintaining market orientation strategies under different environmental conditions. Limitations: The characteristics of sample used for the quantitative analysis may limit the generalization of results. Originality/value: Even though the market orientation concept has been largely analyzed, no previous study has examined its application by academic spin-offs. By employing qualitative and quantitative analyses we provide novel insights in this respect.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Instituto sobre Desarrollo Empresarial "Carmen Vidal Ballester" in its series Business Economics Working Papers with number id-14-01.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:cte:idrepe:id-14-01

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    Keywords: Academic spin-off firms; market orientation; company performance ; Market orientation ; Company performance;

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    1. Nicolaou, Nicos & Birley, Sue, 2003. "Academic networks in a trichotomous categorisation of university spinouts," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 333-359, May.
    2. Lockett, Andy & Wright, Mike & Franklin, Stephen, 2003. " Technology Transfer and Universities' Spin-Out Strategies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 185-200, March.
    3. Di Gregorio, Dante & Shane, Scott, 2003. "Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 209-227, February.
    4. CĂ©line Druilhe & Elizabeth Garnsey, 2004. "Do Academic Spin-Outs Differ and Does it Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(3_4), pages 269-285, 08.
    5. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    6. Mike Wright & Sue Birley & Simon Mosey, 2004. "Entrepreneurship and University Technology Transfer," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(3_4), pages 235-246, 08.
    7. Shantanu Dutta & Om Narasimhan & Surendra Rajiv, 1999. "Success in High-Technology Markets: Is Marketing Capability Critical?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 547-568.
    8. Paul D. Ellis, 2006. "Market Orientation and Performance: A Meta-Analysis and Cross-National Comparisons," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 1089-1107, 07.
    9. Junfu Zhang, 2009. "The performance of university spin-offs: an exploratory analysis using venture capital data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 255-285, June.
    10. Franklin, Stephen J & Wright, Mike & Lockett, Andy, 2001. " Academic and Surrogate Entrepreneurs in University Spin-Out Companies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 127-41, January.
    11. Roberts, Edward B., 1991. "The technological base of the new enterprise," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 283-298, August.
    12. Mustar, Philippe & Renault, Marie & Colombo, Massimo G. & Piva, Evila & Fontes, Margarida & Lockett, Andy & Wright, Mike & Clarysse, Bart & Moray, Nathalie, 2006. "Conceptualising the heterogeneity of research-based spin-offs: A multi-dimensional taxonomy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 289-308, March.
    13. Powers, Joshua B. & McDougall, Patricia, 2005. "Policy orientation effects on performance with licensing to start-ups and small companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1028-1042, September.
    14. Etzkowitz, Henry & Webster, Andrew & Gebhardt, Christiane & Terra, Branca Regina Cantisano, 2000. "The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-330, February.
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