There is a paucity of studies which have analysed the role of internal processes for academic spin-offs in a systematic way. We focus on a specific nuance of internal processes which relate to the management practices that universities can put in place to influence the growth of academic spin-offs. Building upon recent literature on the empirical economics of management, we investigate whether and how different forms of management practices contribute to the growth of academic spin-offs. We collect survey data on universities’ management practices by focusing on technology transfer offices, as well as drawing on a longitudinal sample of 790 Italian university spin-offs founded by 42 different Italian universities, which were observed over the period of 2006 to 2014. Our findings show that management practices help to explain the growth of academic spin-offs, although their effect varies across management practices. Supporting operations in the form of patenting and training as well as the existence of incentives are found to have a positive association with spin-off growth. A negative association is instead found for target setting (spin-off growth targets) and hiring of external management with private sector experience. We provide an explanation of these results by pointing to a combination of adverse selection, short-termism and weak enforceability by universities. Drawing on our results, the adoption of management practices by university managers and policy makers should be carefully considered, as they might have unintended consequences on the growth of academic spin-offs.

The Relationship between University Management Practices and the Growth of Academic Spin-Offs

Matteo Landoni;
2022-01-01

Abstract

There is a paucity of studies which have analysed the role of internal processes for academic spin-offs in a systematic way. We focus on a specific nuance of internal processes which relate to the management practices that universities can put in place to influence the growth of academic spin-offs. Building upon recent literature on the empirical economics of management, we investigate whether and how different forms of management practices contribute to the growth of academic spin-offs. We collect survey data on universities’ management practices by focusing on technology transfer offices, as well as drawing on a longitudinal sample of 790 Italian university spin-offs founded by 42 different Italian universities, which were observed over the period of 2006 to 2014. Our findings show that management practices help to explain the growth of academic spin-offs, although their effect varies across management practices. Supporting operations in the form of patenting and training as well as the existence of incentives are found to have a positive association with spin-off growth. A negative association is instead found for target setting (spin-off growth targets) and hiring of external management with private sector experience. We provide an explanation of these results by pointing to a combination of adverse selection, short-termism and weak enforceability by universities. Drawing on our results, the adoption of management practices by university managers and policy makers should be carefully considered, as they might have unintended consequences on the growth of academic spin-offs.
2022
978-3-030-84668-8
978-3-030-84669-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/569989
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