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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Growth and Change
Page(s) 1
Title of proceedings Growth and Change
DOI 10.1111/grow.12201

Abstract

This paper investigates how spinoffs in peripheral regions can profit from the work experience of their founders. More specifically, it discusses which firm routines and business contacts entrepreneurs gather through their prior work experience, and how this experience influences the organizational structure and orientation of the newly founded firm. The transfer of capabilities from parent firm to spinoff has been identified as important aspect of industrial clustering, but empirical evidence from peripheral areas is still sparse. It compares 22 semi-structured interviews with founders of manufacturing firms from different peripheral regions in Switzerland to investigate whether routine and network transfer differs in varying peripheral contexts. The results show that not only inherited routines are important, but also inherited business contacts. Further, instead of simply reproducing acquired routines and networks, founders employ a mixture of continuity and change to find a good trade-off between relying on well-proven practices and introducing novelty. Finally, the geographical proximity of inherited business contacts seems to have an influence on the implementation strategy founders choose. Entrepreneurs with strong inherited local business contacts do not have to invest as much in building up new business contacts as those entrepreneurs in more isolated locations.
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