We investigate whether university technology transfer offices, that is, divisions responsible for the commercialization of academic research, imitate their industry peers when designing their commercialization strategy. We borrow from information-based theories of imitation and the literature on academic entrepreneurship to argue that given a technology transfer office’s autonomy to strategize independently from its parent university, information from within and outside the technology transfer office affects its propensity to imitate the commercialization strategy of the “most successful peers,” that is, those with the largest live spinoff portfolio and greatest revenues from spinoffs in the industry. We contend that a technology transfer office’s experience, that is, a function of its age, represents a key internal source of information for the technology transfer office when deciding whether to imitate or not; we also consider the technology transfer office’s embeddedness in a network where the most successful peer is also a member as a key external source of information. From data on 86 British university technology transfer offices and their commercialization strategies between 1993 and 2007 that were drawn from both secondary sources and in-depth interviews with technology transfer office managers, we find that there is a negative relationship between technology transfer offices’ autonomy and their level of imitation of the most successful technology transfer office’s strategy, and that this relationship is moderated by the technology transfer offices’ age and by their membership into an association where the most successful technology transfer office is also a member.

Information-based imitation of university commercialization strategies: The role of technology transfer office autonomy, age, and membership into an association

Giachetti, Claudio
2020

Abstract

We investigate whether university technology transfer offices, that is, divisions responsible for the commercialization of academic research, imitate their industry peers when designing their commercialization strategy. We borrow from information-based theories of imitation and the literature on academic entrepreneurship to argue that given a technology transfer office’s autonomy to strategize independently from its parent university, information from within and outside the technology transfer office affects its propensity to imitate the commercialization strategy of the “most successful peers,” that is, those with the largest live spinoff portfolio and greatest revenues from spinoffs in the industry. We contend that a technology transfer office’s experience, that is, a function of its age, represents a key internal source of information for the technology transfer office when deciding whether to imitate or not; we also consider the technology transfer office’s embeddedness in a network where the most successful peer is also a member as a key external source of information. From data on 86 British university technology transfer offices and their commercialization strategies between 1993 and 2007 that were drawn from both secondary sources and in-depth interviews with technology transfer office managers, we find that there is a negative relationship between technology transfer offices’ autonomy and their level of imitation of the most successful technology transfer office’s strategy, and that this relationship is moderated by the technology transfer offices’ age and by their membership into an association where the most successful technology transfer office is also a member.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3714397
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