Differences in knowledge conversion between corporate and university spin-offs

[German title: Unterschiede zwischen ausgegliederten Unternehmens- und Universitätsbereichen bei der Umwandlung von Wissen]

Knowledge conversion capability and the performance of corporate and university spin-offs
Shaker A. Zahra, Els Van de Velde and Bárbara Larrañeta
Industrial and Corporate Change, 2007 16(4):569-608

Abstract: Corporate and university spin-offs are often created to commercialize new technologies. Yet, it is not clear how these spin-offs transform their inventions into new products, goods and services that create value. In this article, we use the knowledge-based theory to argue that this transformation requires a “knowledge conversion capability” (KCC) that has three components: conceptualization and visioning of applications of that knowledge; configuration and design of potential products and other applications; and the embodiment and integration of knowledge into products. Using data from 91 corporate and 78 university spin-offs, we find that these two sets of firms differ in their emphasis on the three KCC components, benefit differentially from these three components in terms of their performance, and vary significantly in their performance.

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© The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved.

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