Title: The centrality of university spin-offs within their meso-level network. An assessment of impacts on firm performance

Authors: Christian Corsi; Antonio Prencipe

Addresses: Università degli Studi di Teramo, Via R. Balzarini 1, 64100 Teramo, Italy ' Università degli Studi di Teramo, Via R. Balzarini 1, 64100 Teramo, Italy

Abstract: The paper aims to explore the effects of centrality of university spin-offs (USOs) in their meso-level network on firm performance. In detail, it has been hypothesised that degree centrality, closeness centrality and betweenness centrality can have a positive influence on the USOs' performance in terms of natural logarithm of total assets and sales growth. Based on a sample of 144 Italian USOs from nine universities associated with the PNICube, the results suggest that degree centrality and betweenness centrality have an effective and positive impact on the USOs' performance only in term of natural logarithm of total assets, while closeness centrality seems not to have significant effects on both performance measures used. The empirical evidence highlights that in the USOs' context the centrality of the firm assumes just a partial role - however significant - in the accomplishment of higher business performance. The paper offers some contributions to the literature and extends the understanding of the social networks dynamics of USOs.

Keywords: university spin-offs; USOs; meso-level networks; network centrality; firm performance; Italy; degree centrality; closeness centrality; betweenness centrality; social networks; social network dynamics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2016.082097

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2016 Vol.14 No.3/4, pp.262 - 280

Received: 18 Aug 2015
Accepted: 06 May 2016

Published online: 01 Feb 2017 *

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