Title: Business incubators: new mechanism for economic/enterprise development or passing fad? Exploring complex relationship of the growing phenomenon in the context of Scotland

Authors: Jovo Ateljevic, Alison S.F. Dawson

Addresses: Division of Business and Organisation, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK. ' Department of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK

Abstract: Business incubation facilities continue to proliferate around the world as governments and institutions seek to derive suggested economic and social benefits, but whether incubators |add value| translated into the national/regional assets including intellectual capital, remains a vexed question. We contribute to this debate by considering the relationships between incubator outputs, investor objectives and managerial perceptions of the role of incubation in Scottish business incubators. We develop a novel analysis of the portability and tangibility of incubator outputs in the course of our discussion. Case study and interview evidence indicate that a |multiple investor| model predominates in Scotland; that different investors| objectives are frequently either prima facie or potentially incongruent; and that managers adopt a variety of strategies to deal with incongruities with consequent implications for business incubators| outputs. We discuss the relevance of our approach for the evaluation of business incubation and the implications of our analysis for policy makers.

Keywords: business incubation; added value; investment; Scotland; UK; United Kingdom; economic development; enterprise development; intellectual capital; incubator outputs; investor objectives; managerial perceptions; portability; tangibility; multiple investors; incongruities; policy makers; entrepreneurship; innovation management; business models; human capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2010.034422

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2010 Vol.12 No.2, pp.217 - 240

Available online: 03 Aug 2010 *

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