Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business

Department

Department of Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright

Abstract

This study is an examination of the issues that are pertinent to the development of linkages, which campus incubation centres provide between their host Institutes of Technology (loT) and their tenant firms. This research incorporates the views, opinions and recommendations of new firm entrepreneurs, campus incubation centre management, senior academic staff and researchers. This study responds to the lacuna of research on campus incubators hosted by the Institutes of Technology. This study confirms that campus business incubators that are affiliated to the loTs are still in their infancy. The research acknowledges that these campus incubators are in a ‘startup’ phase and consequently the findings of this research affirm that collaboration between the Institutes of Technology and their campus incubation companies is relatively low. The author has selected a qualitative method of research to seek the opinions, perceptions and attitudes of participants in this study in order to gain an in-depth understanding of activities, behaviours, concepts and their interrelationships.

A significant finding of this research is that the interests and objectives of the early-stage ventures and the academic staff are heterogeneous. Another important finding of this research is that there is a complex trade-off in terms of the needs of the academic researchers and those of the emerging entrepreneurial firms. The research illustrates that what is advantageous for the academic researchers may not necessarily benefit the incubation company. Conflict may arise due to issues with industry or market oriented concerns.

The findings of this research highlight the relationship between the Institute of Technology staff, the campus incubation centre and its incubatees. This relationship is predominantly an informal process, driven particularly, by individuals who are pro-active in seeking collaborative opportunities. An important finding of this research is the perspective and differing views between the researchers and the incubation staff as to the effectiveness of the research process for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures. This study will benefit stakeholders in the field such as policy-makers within an academic and incubator context and innovative entrepreneurs. Further research is warranted with regard to the remaining Institutes of Technology and Universities that host campus incubation centres, as this data would yield important and relevant information on the success of policy driven linkages.

Access Level

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

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