University Science Park incubators (USIs) have emerged as a means by which Government, academia and business can develop high technology business firms (spin out HTBFs) from initial conception through to becoming established small firms, which are ready to move beyond the Science Park confines. Although there is considerable literature on how USIs can be improved and developed there is a paucity of studies, which explore how lifecycle development within HTBFs in USIs can affect how they use the unique resources and opportunities of the USI. Moreover, there is a focus on single point in time studies, which do not adequately investigate the longitudinal dynamics of HTBF lifecycle development within USIs. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the longitudinal use of the unique resources of the USI by HTBFs at different lifecycle stages. The research methodology involved 18 HTBFs within two separate USIs. A series of longitudinal interviews and focus groups were conducted with HTBFs and USI staff over a 36-month period. NUD*IST software was used in developing the coding and analysis of transcripts. The results show that a HTBF's propensity to make effective use of the USI's resources and support increases as the lifecycle stage of the company increases and the small-firm searches for independence and autonomy. Therefore, further research is required to investigate the following two outstanding questions; firstly, which usage pattern is associated with the HTBF's ultimate success or failure in the marketplace? And secondly, are there any services missing from the observed array that the USI could provide to enhance the HTBF's degree of ultimate success? © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - May 2008|