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The Role of Teams in Academic Spin-Offs

Nikiforou, A(I), Zabara, T, Clarysse, B and M Gruber (2018). The Role of Teams in Academic Spin-Offs, Academy of Management Perspectives, 32(1), 78-103.

Although teams play a crucial role in academic spin-offs, research on this topic is still in its early stage. To stimulate discussion and encourage further studies, this paper offers a much-needed overview of prior research on teams in the context of academic spin-offs. By examining studies from 1980 to 2016, our review shows that extant work has focused primarily on the human and social capital endowments of academic entrepreneurs, while much less attention has been paid to team formation and evolution and team functioning. Based on a critical assessment of the status quo, we discuss open research questions and suggest that scholars need to account for the temporal context of academic spin-offs and for the type of technology that is commercialized. Furthermore, we encourage research on founder identities and the creation of social good via academic spin-offs, as such research would allow scholars to push significantly beyond the traditional view of academic spin-off teams, which emphasizes personal wealth creation, licensing incomes and financial profit.​

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