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Nurture or nature? The growth paradox of research-based spin-offs

Zerbinati, S., Souitaris, V. & Moray, N. (2012). Nurture or nature? The growth paradox of research-based spin-offs. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 24(1), pp. 21-35. doi: 10.1080/09537325.2012.643558


This study explores the effect of institutional origin (‘nurture’) and economic context (‘nature’) on the financial resource endowment and subsequent early employment growth of research-based spin-offs (RBSOs). The nurture dimensions capture the relationship between the parent research institution and the RBSO during the start-up phase: the type of incubation model, the formal vs informal transfer of technology and the extent of inventors’ involvement with the firm. The nature dimensions include the technology domain in which the RBSO operates and the complexity of the sales process. Using a unique dataset of RBSOs in Flanders (N=85, representing 75% of the population), our analysis shows that the financial resource endowment, is predicted by both institutional origin (nurture) dimensions and economic context ones (nature). Initial capital in turn, is a key driver of subsequent employment growth of RBSOs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Technology Analysis and Strategic Management in 2012, available online:
Publisher Keywords: research-based spin-offs; growth
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of TASM Reviewed paper.docx] Text - Accepted Version
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