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Technological Innovation Activities In Firms And Propensity Of Individuals Starting New Businesses

  • Wong, Poh Kam
  • Lee, Lena
  • Foo, Maw Der

Prior studies have found that knowledge gained from work experience is a way to gather insights for business opportunity recognition. However, little is known about the specific types of knowledge that lead to business founding. Utilizing concepts from knowledge spillovers and from the opportunity recognition literatures, this paper argues that through an organization’s technological innovation activities, employees develop specialized knowledge that provides them with the entrepreneurial opportunities to found new businesses. Besides highlighting the positive relationship between technological innovation activities in organizations and the propensity of individuals leaving the organizations to start new businesses, this paper also provides a more fine-grained explanation of the types of technological innovation activities that can lead to business founding. We argue that knowledge acquired through product innovations is more easily appropriated by individuals for commercial uses, while knowledge acquired through process innovations must be integrated with other parts of the organization to be valuable. This study proposes that product innovation activities in an organization more so than process innovation activities in an organization are related to new business founding. Implications for opportunity exploitation and ways to appropriate knowledge spillovers are discussed.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2617/1/MPRA_paper_2617.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2617.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2617
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  1. Michael Fritsch & Monika Meschede, 2001. "Product Innovation, Process Innovation, and Size," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 335-350, November.
  2. Ardichvili, Alexander & Cardozo, Richard & Ray, Sourav, 2003. "A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 105-123, January.
  3. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1999. "Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent.: An exploration of CIS micro data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 615-624, August.
  4. Carter, Nancy M. & Gartner, William B. & Shaver, Kelly G. & Gatewood, Elizabeth J., 2003. "The career reasons of nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 13-39, January.
  5. Fariborz Damanpour, 2001. "The Dynamics of the Adoption of Product and Process Innovations in Organizations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 45-65, 01.
  6. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-43, May.
  7. Chesbrough, Henry, 2003. "The governance and performance of Xerox's technology spin-off companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 403-421, March.
  8. Davidsson, Per & Honig, Benson, 2003. "The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-331, May.
  9. Delmar, Frederic & Shane, Scott, 2004. "Legitimating first: organizing activities and the survival of new ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 385-410, May.
  10. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
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