Title: Toward a balanced framework to evaluate and improve the internal functioning of non-profit economic development business incubators. A study in Belgium

Authors: Johanna Vanderstraeten; Paul Matthyssens; Arjen Van Witteloostuijn

Addresses: University of Antwerp, Department of Management, Prinsstraat 13, Office C-446, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium; Antwerp Management School, Sint-Jacobsmarkt 9-13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium ' University of Antwerp, Department of Management, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium; Antwerp Management School, Sint-Jacobsmarkt 9-13, Dean's Office, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium ' Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, Office K-126, P.O.Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands; University of Antwerp, Center and Department of Management, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Abstract: Non-profit organisations, such as economic development incubators, may adapt the balanced scorecard and strategy map in their efforts to improve their internal functioning. In this paper, we employ qualitative research among non-profit economic development incubators in Antwerp, Belgium, to modify these tools. By adapting these frameworks, we extend the current incubator literature where predominantly individual measures (such as tenant survival or the incubator's occupancy rate) are employed to evaluate incubator performance. Incubator managers and their funding organisations may use our adapted strategy map and balanced scorecard to uncover the incubator's internal processes that need improvement. The evaluation tools allow them to go beyond the objective and individual performance measures that often are used to evaluate the incubator's performance. The tools can also be used to benchmark several incubators and help funding organisations to make more informed resource allocation decisions.

Keywords: business incubators; internal functioning; evaluation tools; incubator performance; BSC; balanced scorecard; strategy maps; non-profit; not-for-profit; Belgium; economic development incubators; individual measures; tenant survival; occupancy rates; incubator managers; funding organisations; objective performance measures; individual performance measures; benchmarking; resource allocation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065684

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23 No.4, pp.478 - 508

Published online: 15 Nov 2014 *

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