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Speciation through entrepreneurial spin-off: The Acorn-ARM story

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  • Garnsey, Elizabeth
  • Lorenzoni, Gianni
  • Ferriani, Simone

Abstract

Can the concept of speciation explain evidence on how technologies branch and advance? Can evidence on innovation through spin-off usefully inform the concept of speciation? These questions are addressed through a case study of detailed processes enabling the shift of technology to new domains of application. An innovative IT firm developed its own semiconductor technology to remedy supplier deficiencies but it required a joint venture with a completely new business model to adapt and move the technology into new market domains. We propose the concept of techno-organizational speciation to delineate this phenomenon. Competing perspectives on speciation (compatibility, niche and lineage approaches) are found to illuminate the evidence, while complementarities between these conceptual dimensions are revealed by the case. Causal processes uncovered include the following: (1) Techno-organizational speciation through spin-off may be needed to launch a dominant technical standard, compatible with multiple applications. (2) This can be achieved through niche creation from which develops a new business ecosystem. (3) Inherited knowledge together with organizationally based learning foster the branching and renewal of technological lineages.

Suggested Citation

  • Garnsey, Elizabeth & Lorenzoni, Gianni & Ferriani, Simone, 2008. "Speciation through entrepreneurial spin-off: The Acorn-ARM story," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 210-224, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:210-224
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Henning & Erik Stam & Rik Wenting, 2013. "Path Dependence Research in Regional Economic Development: Cacophony or Knowledge Accumulation?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1348-1362, September.
    2. Probert, Jocelyn & Connell, David & Mina, Andrea, 2013. "R&D service firms: The hidden engine of the high-tech economy?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1274-1285.
    3. Elizabeth Garnsey & Erik Stam & Brychan Thomas, 2010. "The Emergence and Development of the Cambridge Ink Jet Printing Industry," Chapters,in: Emerging Clusters, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Rong, Ke & Wu, Jinxi & Shi, Yongjiang & Guo, Liang, 2015. "Nurturing business ecosystems for growth in a foreign market: Incubating, identifying and integrating stakeholders," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 293-308.
    5. Yagüe-Perales, Rosa M. & March-Chordà, Isidre, 2012. "Performance analysis of research spin-offs in the Spanish biotechnology industry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 1782-1789.
    6. Gianni Lorenzoni, 2010. "Genesis of a research field: district, network, strategic network," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 14(3), pages 221-239, August.

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