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A corporation’s culture as an impetus for spinoffs and a driving force of industry evolution

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  • Christian Cordes
  • Peter Richerson
  • Georg Schwesinger

Abstract

We offer a theory of spinoffs that explains some salient aspects of these important market entrants. In infant industries, a great share of new market opportunities is depleted by firms that spinoff from incumbents. A model emphasizing the relation between incumbents’ evolving corporate cultures and the generation of spinoffs explains this regularity in industry evolution. By doing so, we capture different patterns in firm development that finally will help explain the evolutionary paths that industries may follow. We show that organizations reach a critical size that entails the collapse of a cooperative culture and triggers the exodus of personnel founding own firms. Thereby, organizations with a cooperative culture active in a dynamic business environment provide ideal training grounds for potential founders. Moreover, we argue that cooperative firm cultures and processes of “entrepreneurial imprinting” are important sources of spinoffs’ superior capabilities concerning their later market performance. We relate our findings to empirical evidence on developmental patterns in industries, such as genealogies and performance of spinoffs. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Cordes & Peter Richerson & Georg Schwesinger, 2014. "A corporation’s culture as an impetus for spinoffs and a driving force of industry evolution," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 689-712, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:24:y:2014:i:3:p:689-712
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-013-0335-3
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    4. Georg Schwesinger, 2013. "Natural and Economic Selection - Lessons from the Evo-Devo and Multilevel Selection Debate," Jena Economics Research Papers 2013-014, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spinoff formation; Corporate culture; Evolutionary foundationsof economic behavior; Firm performance; Industry evolution; D21; Z13; L25; M14; C61;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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