Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The incubation process of mid-stage startup companies: a business network perspective

The incubation process of mid-stage startup companies: a business network perspective PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to preliminary attempt to deal with the phenomenon of business incubation from the industrial network perspective (Hakansson et al., 2009). The study draws on the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) insights on new business formation and development in business networks as a starting point to shed light on the incubator–incubatee relationship content and development to see how this specific relationship influences the development process of a mid-stage business venture. The author believes that the IMP tradition – with its focus on interactions in business relationships – can positively contribute to implementing this neglected topic of incubation research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper develops a longitudinal case study describing a mid-stage start-up venture initiating and developing a business relationship with a private business incubator. The relationship is explored through an abductive research design grounded in the IMP ARA model of analysis. The investigation focuses on how the incubation process unfolds through resources’ and actors’ interactions at different scales of analysis: the focal dyad, the incubation internal environment and the surrounding network. Particular “contextual” emphasis is put on new venture’s prior relationships. The study reveals three main findings.FindingsBusiness incubation results as an emergent, and interdependent, process of interaction that develops among the incubator, the incubatee and external networked actors. In this perspective, the paper aims to re-discuss the role of the incubator in the process of forming and developing a new company considering its minor role in the wider developmental setting surrounding the incubatee.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper introduces IMP concepts to business incubation debates, which can positively challenge and provide novel explanations about the recurring gaps of the literature. Further research should provide more detail on the role and functioning of interactive incubation in a business network context, addressing complex topics such as incubation performance and outcomes. Further research should also deepen and discuss the role of incubation relationships within the set of initial relationships of a new venture.Practical implicationsThis analysis can be used to revise the general approach to the management and configuration of business incubators. Present insights could be helpful, in fact, to design more effective incubation offerings and models, as well as develop best managerial practices targeted at interacting with new venture especially in the resource dimension, both within and outside the incubation environment.Originality/valueThe incubation dyad, as a unit of analysis, has been scarcely addressed in incubation research. This is central for addressing the role of interactions, relationships and networks in incubation, all elements which have been too scarcely investigated. In addition, the paper deals with a private business incubator, a particular model which is in need for more research. Finally, the case of an established new venture which decides to enter a business incubator at a later stage of its development represents a peculiar case which does not fit classical research typically focused on new ventures “born and raised” entirely in incubation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png IMP Journal Emerald Publishing

The incubation process of mid-stage startup companies: a business network perspective

IMP Journal , Volume 12 (3): 23 – Nov 12, 2018

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/the-incubation-process-of-mid-stage-startup-companies-a-business-edvLytdRI0
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2059-1403
DOI
10.1108/IMP-07-2017-0043
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to preliminary attempt to deal with the phenomenon of business incubation from the industrial network perspective (Hakansson et al., 2009). The study draws on the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) insights on new business formation and development in business networks as a starting point to shed light on the incubator–incubatee relationship content and development to see how this specific relationship influences the development process of a mid-stage business venture. The author believes that the IMP tradition – with its focus on interactions in business relationships – can positively contribute to implementing this neglected topic of incubation research.Design/methodology/approachThe paper develops a longitudinal case study describing a mid-stage start-up venture initiating and developing a business relationship with a private business incubator. The relationship is explored through an abductive research design grounded in the IMP ARA model of analysis. The investigation focuses on how the incubation process unfolds through resources’ and actors’ interactions at different scales of analysis: the focal dyad, the incubation internal environment and the surrounding network. Particular “contextual” emphasis is put on new venture’s prior relationships. The study reveals three main findings.FindingsBusiness incubation results as an emergent, and interdependent, process of interaction that develops among the incubator, the incubatee and external networked actors. In this perspective, the paper aims to re-discuss the role of the incubator in the process of forming and developing a new company considering its minor role in the wider developmental setting surrounding the incubatee.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper introduces IMP concepts to business incubation debates, which can positively challenge and provide novel explanations about the recurring gaps of the literature. Further research should provide more detail on the role and functioning of interactive incubation in a business network context, addressing complex topics such as incubation performance and outcomes. Further research should also deepen and discuss the role of incubation relationships within the set of initial relationships of a new venture.Practical implicationsThis analysis can be used to revise the general approach to the management and configuration of business incubators. Present insights could be helpful, in fact, to design more effective incubation offerings and models, as well as develop best managerial practices targeted at interacting with new venture especially in the resource dimension, both within and outside the incubation environment.Originality/valueThe incubation dyad, as a unit of analysis, has been scarcely addressed in incubation research. This is central for addressing the role of interactions, relationships and networks in incubation, all elements which have been too scarcely investigated. In addition, the paper deals with a private business incubator, a particular model which is in need for more research. Finally, the case of an established new venture which decides to enter a business incubator at a later stage of its development represents a peculiar case which does not fit classical research typically focused on new ventures “born and raised” entirely in incubation.

Journal

IMP JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 12, 2018

References