IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Continuity and change in a spin-off venture: the process of reimprinting


  • Simone Ferriani
  • Elizabeth Garnsey
  • Gianni Lorenzoni


Because new entrants very often spin off from established firms, their learning and capabilities are closely linked to their organizational and technological heritage. While this may provide an initial advantage, parental influence can generate inertia and resistance to change, unless the new company is able to unlearn inappropriate practices and create its unique competitive identity. The tension between inheritance and search for novelty is the subject of the article. Building on an in-depth case study of Acorn Computers and ARM semiconductors, we present a model of intergenerational learning and spin-off performance. Early parental influence is followed by intense learning, improvisation and response to feedback from the market. This we term reimprinting , to emphasize the enduring competitive and organizational identity established early on by the spin-off, which in this case provided the basis for disruptive innovation. Focus on the parent--progeny dyad as the unit of analysis can reveal micro-processes that reconstitute past experience to make possible both continuity and innovation in the spin-off venture. Copyright 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Ferriani & Elizabeth Garnsey & Gianni Lorenzoni, 2012. "Continuity and change in a spin-off venture: the process of reimprinting," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 1011-1048, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:21:y:2012:i:4:p:1011-1048

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nuvolari, A., 2003. "Open source software development: some historical perspectives," Working Papers 03.01, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    2. Nathan ROSENBERG, 2009. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 11, pages 225-234 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Quatraro & Marco Vivarelli, 2015. "Drivers of Entrepreneurship and Post-entry Performance of Newborn Firms in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 277-305.
    2. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2016. "An integrative process model of organisational failure," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3388-3397.
    3. Helmut Fryges & Mike Wright, 2014. "The origin of spin-offs: a typology of corporate and academic spin-offs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 245-259, August.
    4. Marco Vivarelli, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and Post-Entry Performance: the Microeconomic Evidence," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1286, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    5. Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Is entrepreneurship necessarily good? Microeconomic evidence from developed and developing countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(6), pages 1453-1495, December.
    6. Vivarelli, Marco, 2012. "Drivers of entrepreneurship and post-entry performance : microeconomic evidence from advanced and developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6245, The World Bank.
    7. Quatraro, Francesco & Vivarelli, Marco, 2013. "Entrepreneurship In A Developing Country Context," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201314, University of Turin.
    8. Banalieva, Elitsa R. & Karam, Charlotte M. & Ralston, David A. & Elenkov, Detelin & Naoumova, Irina & Dabic, Marina & Potocan, Vojko & Starkus, Arunas & Danis, Wade & Wallace, Alan, 2017. "Communist footprint and subordinate influence behavior in post-communist transition economies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-229.
    9. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2014. "Old habits die hard: A tale of two failed companies and unwanted inheritance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(9), pages 1894-1903.
    10. repec:eee:tefoso:v:128:y:2018:i:c:p:164-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:144-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Francesco Quatraro & Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Entry and Post-Entry Dynamics in Developing Countries," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-20, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:21:y:2012:i:4:p:1011-1048. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.