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The purpose of this paper is to explore the inter-organisational dynamics, in terms of the triggers to spin-off formation and the genealogical inheritance of spin-offs…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the inter-organisational dynamics, in terms of the triggers to spin-off formation and the genealogical inheritance of spin-offs, between a parent characterised by an adverse event and the spin-offs that emerge. The study focusses on the nature of the triggering event, exploring the heterogeneous nature of the processes by which some spin-offs are formed to exploit new opportunities created unexpectedly by an adverse event, and on the genealogical inheritance that forms the pre-entry experience of the founder.
A case study based on interview data with founders of spin-offs, supplemented with interviews with managers and industry experts, and with secondary data sources. The case study is of the spin-offs from a successful firm, Élan Corporation, reported to be the world’s 20th largest drug firm in 2002, that experienced an adverse event in 2002. The Élan case offers the opportunity to focus exclusively on what Buenstorf (2009) refers to as necessity spin-offs. Prior to collecting data it was necessary to identify the population of spin-offs from Élan.
This study extends existing research by identifying “opportunistic spin-offs”: spin-offs that occur in the wake of an adverse event where the entrepreneur exploits an unexpected opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship but does not feel compelled to establish the spin-off. These spin-offs are characterised by “unexpected opportunities”, “opportunistic acquisition of assets” and, perhaps reflecting the seniority and experience of those involved, “alternative employment opportunities”.
Understanding the process of spin-off formation is important because it provides insight into how and why individuals initiate new ventures. Spin-offs are an important source of new firms and an important mechanism in the process of industry evolution. The study contributes to the literature on spin-offs by providing evidence of the heterogeneous nature of spin-offs that occur in the aftermath of an adverse event, leading to the classification of some spin-offs as “opportunistic spin-offs”. The study contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by demonstrating that an important trigger for venture creation is unexpected changes in an individual’s employment circumstances.
This paper explores what constitutes “enterprise education” in four European countries. It proposes a conceptual schema for capturing the various objectives of enterprise…
This paper explores what constitutes “enterprise education” in four European countries. It proposes a conceptual schema for capturing the various objectives of enterprise education programmes and initiatives. This conceptual schema is then used to categorise the objectives of 50 enterprise programmes from Austria, Finland, Ireland, and the UK. The paper reviews the teaching/learning methods used in these programmes. It discusses what factors are associated with “effective” enterprise education, illustrating the discussion with “best practice” from the programmes studied. The paper argues that in order to operate effective enterprise education programmes, policy makers and educators need a thorough understanding of the diverse and alternative aims and objectives of enterprise education interventions, of the alternative forms such interventions can take, and of the need to “train the trainers”.
This paper aims to draw on the network perspective of firm internationalisation to study how an intermediary network actor, such as an export promotion organisation (EPO)…
This paper aims to draw on the network perspective of firm internationalisation to study how an intermediary network actor, such as an export promotion organisation (EPO), can influence the internationalisation of new ventures located in peripheral regions.
The paper employs case analysis and the critical incident technique to study the influence of the Irish Government's support agency for the seafood industry, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), on the internationalisation of three new ventures in the seafood sector in the West of Ireland.
The EPO played an important role in information mediation: identifying foreign opportunities and customers; facilitating introductions to international customers; and by providing foreign market knowledge; and as a resource provider developing the firm's export capacity.
The choice of sector and method may impact on the ability to generalise the findings to firms in other contexts.
This study identifies a number of important implications for managers. It identifies a dilemma for policy‐makers: do efforts to develop strong support agencies come at the expense of developing strong firms?
This study advances the understanding of the role of an intermediary network actor in influencing new‐firm internationalisation. It identifies a set of conditions that, it is argued, are necessary if an EPO is to facilitate firm internationalisation.
This paper explores the factors that determine the sustainability of growth in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Previous research has shown that SME growth may…
This paper explores the factors that determine the sustainability of growth in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Previous research has shown that SME growth may be the consequence of the strategic choices of entrepreneurs or the structural characteristics of the external environment. This research investigates the dynamic between these two “conflicting” explanations. Two in‐depth longitudinal case studies are presented of SMEs in the wholesale sector. For SME managers, this research suggests that the first key managerial choice is “where to compete” but that this is followed by other key choices concerning “how to compete” and it is in the combination of these that sustained growth is found. Moreover, there may be circumstances when an innovative decision about “where to compete” endows the creative first mover with the opportunity to both drive growth and to be the prime beneficiary of market growth.