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Measuring the performance of business incubators

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  • VANDERSTRAETEN, Johanna
  • MATTHYSSENS, Paul
  • VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen

Abstract

This paper focuses on incubator performance measurement. First, we report the findings of an extensive literature review. Both existing individual measures and more comprehensive measurement systems are discussed. This literature review shows that most incubator researchers and practitioners only use one or a few indicators for performance evaluation, and that existing measurement systems do not recognize the importance of short, medium and long-term results, do not always include an incubator’s strategic objectives and are neither easily comprehensible nor accessible. Moreover, there is no link between performance measurement and its influence on incubator employees. To tackle the weaknesses found in existing literature, we suggest to employ Kaplan and Norton’s strategy map and balanced scorecard. Based on the results of a qualitative empirical study, we translate these tools to the context of not-for-profit economic development incubators and test their practical usefulness. We call the tools the SMEDI (Strategy Map for Economic Development Incubators) and BSEDI (Balanced Scorecard for Economic Development Incubators). In a concluding section, we discuss the paper’s main contributions and limitations, and reflect on a few possible future research avenues.

Suggested Citation

  • VANDERSTRAETEN, Johanna & MATTHYSSENS, Paul & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen, 2012. "Measuring the performance of business incubators," Working Papers 2012012, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2012012
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    File URL: https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/bebda5/415f7867.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, pages 109-123.
    2. Phillip Phan & Donald S. Siegel & Mike Wright, 2016. "Science Parks and Incubators: Observations, Synthesis and Future Research," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND BUSINESS INCUBATION Theory • Practice • Lessons Learned, chapter 9, pages 249-272 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Sean Hackett & David Dilts, 2008. "Inside the black box of business incubation: Study B—scale assessment, model refinement, and incubation outcomes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 439-471, October.
    4. Sean M. Hackett & David M. Dilts, 2004. "A Systematic Review of Business Incubation Research," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 55-82, January.
    5. G Tomas M Hult & David J Ketchen & David A Griffith & Brian R Chabowski & Mary K Hamman & Bernadine Johnson Dykes & Wesley A Pollitte & S Tamer Cavusgil, 2008. "An assessment of the measurement of performance in international business research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(6), pages 1064-1080, September.
    6. Rudy Aernoudt, 2004. "Incubators: Tool for Entrepreneurship?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 127-135, September.
    7. Lofsten, Hans & Lindelof, Peter, 2002. "Science Parks and the growth of new technology-based firms--academic-industry links, innovation and markets," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 859-876.
    8. Colombo, Massimo G. & Delmastro, Marco, 2002. "How effective are technology incubators?: Evidence from Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1103-1122.
    9. Rice, Mark P., 2002. "Co-production of business assistance in business incubators: an exploratory study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 163-187, March.
    10. Schwartz, Michael & Göthner, Maximilian, 2009. "A Novel Approach to Incubator Evaluations: The PROMETHEE Outranking Procedures," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2009, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    11. Gil Avnimelech & Dafna Schwartz & Raphael Bar-El, 2006. "Entrepreneurial High-tech Cluster Development: Israel's Experience with Venture Capital and Technological Incubators," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(9), pages 1181-1198, July.
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    13. Michael Schwartz, 2009. "Beyond incubation: an analysis of firm survival and exit dynamics in the post-graduation period," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 403-421, August.
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    Keywords

    Business incubator; Performance measurement system; Performance measure; Balanced scorecard; Strategy map;

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