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Voodoo Institution or Entrepreneurial University? Spin-off Companies, the Entrepreneurial System and Regional Development in the UK


  • Richard Harrison
  • Claire Leitch


Harrison R. T. and Leitch C. Voodoo institution or entrepreneurial university? Spin-off companies, the entrepreneurial system and regional development in the UK, Regional Studies. University spin-off companies occupy a prominent position in both government and university policies and aspirations for the commercialization of university research for economic benefit at regional and national levels. However, most university spin-off companies start small and remain small, reflecting founder aspirations, capabilities, and resource endowments. Based on detailed analysis of university spin-offs in Northern Ireland, it is concluded that these companies are technology lifestyle businesses not dynamic high-growth potential start-ups, and it is suggested that the prominence given to spin-offs in the analysis of technology transfer and in discussions of the economic impacts of universities is misplaced. [image omitted] Harrison R. T. et Leitch C. Une institution vaudou ou une universite entrepreneuriale? La creation d'entreprise, le systeme entrepreneurial et l'amenagement du territoire au R-U, Regional Studies. La creation d'entreprise par les universites jouit d'une importance de premier plan pour ce qui est des politiques du gouvernement et des universites, et vu l'aspiration de commercialiser la recherche universitaire pour en tirer un profit economique au niveau regional et a l'echelle nationale. Cependant, la plupart des nouvelles entreprises creees par les universites sont de petite taille et continuent de l'etre, ce qui reflete l'aspiration, les capacites et la dotation en capital du createur. A partir d'une analyse detaillee de la creation d'entreprise par les universites situees en Irlande du Nord, on conclut que ces entreprises-la sont des entreprises technologiques par styles de vie et ne sont pas des creations d'entreprise dynamiques a croissance forte. On laisse supposer aussi que l'importance accordee a la creation d'entreprise dans l'analyse du transfert technologique et le debat sur l'impact economique des universites s'avere deplacee. Transfert technologique Creation d'entreprise Systeme entrepreneurial Amenagement du territoire Universite entrepreneuriale Harrison R. T. und Leitch C. Voodoo-Institution oder Unternehmertum an Universitaten? Spin-off-Firmen, Unternehmenssysteme und Regionalentwicklung in Grossbritannien, Regional Studies. Spin-off-Firmen von Universitaten spielen in der Politik von Regierungen und Universitaten sowie bei den Bestrebungen zur Kommerzialisierung der universitaren Forschung fur einen wirtschaftlichen Nutzen auf regionaler und nationaler Ebene eine wichtige Rolle. Die meisten universitaren Spin-off-Firmen sind jedoch zu Beginn und auch spater von geringer Grosse und reflektieren die Bestrebungen, Fahigkeiten und Ressourcen der Grunder. Anhand einer detaillierten Analyse der Spin-off-Firmen von Universitaten in Nordirland ziehen wir den Schluss, dass es sich bei diesen Firmen weniger um dynamische Start-up-Firmen mit hohem Wachstumspotenzial als vielmehr um technologische Lifestyle-Unternehmen handelt und dass die starke Beachtung, die Spin-off-Firmen bei der Analyse von Technologietransfer und in den Diskussionen uber die wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Universitaten finden, fehl am Platze ist. Technologietransfer Spin-off-Firmen Unternehmenssystem Regionalentwicklung Unternehmertum an Universitaten Harrison R. T. y Leitch C. ¿Institucion vudu o universidad empresarial? Empresas spin-off, el sistema empresarial y el desarrollo regional en el Reino Unido, Regional Studies. Las empresas spin-off universitarias ocupan un lugar destacado en las politicas gubernamentales y universitarias asi como las aspiraciones para la comercializacion de la investigacion universitaria para el beneficio economico a nivel regional y nacional. Sin embargo, la mayoria de empresas spin-off universitarias comienzan como empresas pequenas y siguen siendo pequenas, lo que refleja las aspiraciones y capacidades de los fundadores y las dotaciones de recursos. Basandonos en un analisis detallado de las empresas spin-off universitarias en Irlanda del Norte, concluimos que estas sociedades no son empresas emergentes dinamicas con un alto potencial de crecimiento sino empresas de estilo de vida tecnologico, y sugerimos que la importancia que se otorga a las empresas spin-off en los analisis de transferencia tecnologica y en las charlas sobre las repercusiones economicas de las universidades queda fuera de lugar. Transferencia tecnologica Empresas spin-off Sistema empresarial Desarrollo regional Universidad empresarial

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Harrison & Claire Leitch, 2010. "Voodoo Institution or Entrepreneurial University? Spin-off Companies, the Entrepreneurial System and Regional Development in the UK," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(9), pages 1241-1262.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:44:y:2010:i:9:p:1241-1262
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400903167912

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    2. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9482-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Donato Iacobucci & Alessandra Micozzi, 2015. "How to evaluate the impact of academic spin-offs on local development: an empirical analysis of the Italian case," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 434-452, June.
    4. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9476-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fumi Kitagawa & Don J. Webber & Anthony Plumridge & Susan Robertson, 2015. "University entrepreneurship education experiences: enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystems in a UK," Working Papers 20151505, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    6. Federico Munari & Einar Rasmussen & Laura Toschi & Elisa Villani, 2016. "Determinants of the university technology transfer policy-mix: a cross-national analysis of gap-funding instruments," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1377-1405, December.
    7. Einar Rasmussen & Paul Benneworth & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2013. "Scoping paper: Developing University Innovation Capacity: How can innovation policy effectively harness universities’ capability to promote high-growth technology businesses?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20131007, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    8. repec:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11365-016-0431-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:05:n:s0219877017500262 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Berbegal-Mirabent, Jasmina & Ribeiro-Soriano, Domingo Enrique & Sánchez García, José Luis, 2015. "Can a magic recipe foster university spin-off creation?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2272-2278.
    11. Elisa BARBIERI & Lauretta RUBINI & Alessandra MICOZZI, 2013. "Evaluating policies for innovation and university-firm relations. An investigation on the attitude of Italian academic entrepreneurs towards collaborations with firms," Economia Marche / Journal of Applied Economics, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I) / Fondazione Aristide Merloni (I), vol. 0(2), pages 17-45, December.
    12. Riccardo Fini & Kun Fu & Marius Tuft Mathisen & Einar Rasmussen & Mike Wright, 2017. "Institutional determinants of university spin-off quantity and quality: a longitudinal, multilevel, cross-country study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 361-391, February.
    13. Nora Hesse & Rolf Sternberg, 2017. "Alternative growth patterns of university spin-offs: why so many remain small?," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 953-984, September.
    14. Einar Rasmussen & Mike Wright, 2015. "How can universities facilitate academic spin-offs? An entrepreneurial competency perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 782-799, October.


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