Knowledge Transfer Through Congenital Learning: Spin-out Generation, Growth and Survival

Rajshree Agarwal
Dept. of Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
350 Wohlers Hall, 1206 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820
Email: agarwalr@uiuc.edu

 

Raj Echambadi
Dept. of Marketing
College of Business Administration
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 161400
Orlando, Fl 32816-1400
Email: rechambadi@bus.ucf.edu

 

April M. Franco
Dept. of Economics
W210 John Pappajohn Business Building
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
Email:  afranco@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu

MB Sarkar
Dept. of Marketing
College of Business Administration
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 161400
Orlando, Fl 32816-1400
Email: msarkar@bus.ucf.edu

 All authors contributed equally. The names are arranged in alphabetical order

 

Abstract

This paper examines the role of knowledge as a driver of an organizationís formation, and as a subsequent source of its competitive advantage.  We investigate the parent-progeny knowledge transfer relationship, and the impact of this congenital learning on the evolution and performance of a spin-out (an entrepreneurial venture by an ex-employee). Using data from the disk drive industry, we show that incumbent knowledge capabilities, related to technology and market pioneering, predict spin-out formation.  Parent's capabilities at the time of spin-out founding positively affect spin-out knowledge capabilities, and result in spin-outs having higher probabilities of survival relative to other entrants.

 

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