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Inside the incubator – business relationship creations among incubated firms

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Business relationship, Christina Öberg, incubator

Abstract

Purpose
Incubators, as providers of advice and resources, suggest fostering the development of early-idea firms. Literature and practice seem to suggest an ever-increasing amount of incubator support. The creation of business relationships is at the heart of any business development, and this paper addresses whether a laissez-faire incubator fosters the creation of business relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the creation of business relationships among incubated firms during and after their time in the incubator along with the roles that these relationships play for the incubated firms.

Design/methodology/approach
Empirically, the paper is based on retrospective interviews with representatives of all incubated firms in a university incubator. A total of fifteen interviews were conducted with representatives of the incubated firms, the incubator and its owners, complemented by secondary data sources.

Findings
The paper points out three antecedents for business relationship creation: the lack of experience and connections; convenience; and trust based on the interactions with others in the incubator. These antecedents are connected to the roles of transforming businesses and of adaptation in the dyadic relationships. The laissez-faire incubator helped through the learning-by-doing among the incubated firms, which made them focus on business relationship creation from early on.

Originality/value
Most incubator research portrays the unilateral transfer of knowledge from the incubator to the incubated firm, with the latter being a service taker rather than a co-producer. The paper adds knowledge about business relationships among firms in incubators and the roles that these business relationships could play for the firms. The focus on an incubator providing limited support is of high practical relevance, given the trend of incubators facilitating more and more services.

Öberg, C., Klinton, M. & Stockhult, H. (2020). Inside the incubator – Business relationship creations among incubated firms.Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 35(11), 1767-1784.

Based on content

Inside the incubator – business relationship creations among incubated firms
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Öberg, C., Klinton, M. & Stockhult, H.
Publication year

2020

Abstract

Purpose
Incubators, as providers of advice and resources, suggest fostering the development of early-idea firms. Literature and practice seem to suggest an ever-increasing amount of incubator support. The creation of business relationships is at the heart of any business development, and this paper addresses whether a laissez-faire incubator fosters the creation of business relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the creation of business relationships among incubated firms during and after their time in the incubator along with the roles that these relationships play for the incubated firms.

Design/methodology/approach
Empirically, the paper is based on retrospective interviews with representatives of all incubated firms in a university incubator. A total of fifteen interviews were conducted with representatives of the incubated firms, the incubator and its owners, complemented by secondary data sources.

Findings
The paper points out three antecedents for business relationship creation: the lack of experience and connections; convenience; and trust based on the interactions with others in the incubator. These antecedents are connected to the roles of transforming businesses and of adaptation in the dyadic relationships. The laissez-faire incubator helped through the learning-by-doing among the incubated firms, which made them focus on business relationship creation from early on.

Originality/value
Most incubator research portrays the unilateral transfer of knowledge from the incubator to the incubated firm, with the latter being a service taker rather than a co-producer. The paper adds knowledge about business relationships among firms in incubators and the roles that these business relationships could play for the firms. The focus on an incubator providing limited support is of high practical relevance, given the trend of incubators facilitating more and more services.

Effects of employees’ opportunities to influence in-store music on sales: Evidence from a field experiment
Article (with peer review)Publication
Daunfeldt, S.-O., Moradi, J., Rudholm, N., Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

The effects of in-store music on consumer behavior have attracted much attention in the marketing literature, but surprisingly few studies have investigated in-store music in relation to employees. By conducting a field experiment in eight Filippa K fashion stores in Stockholm, Sweden, we investigate whether it is beneficial for store owners to give employees more opportunities to influence the in-store music. We randomly assigned the stores into a treatment group and a control group, with the employees in the treatment stores having the opportunity to influence the in-store music through an app developed by Soundtrack Your Brand (SYB). The experiment lasted 56 weeks and sales data were also gathered 22 weeks before the experiment, resulting in a total of 4626 observations. Our results show that sales decreased by 6% when the employees had the opportunity to influence the music played in the store, and the effect is driven by a reduction in sales of women’s clothing. Interviews with the employees revealed that they had diverse music preferences, frequently changed songs, and preferred to play high-intensity songs. Employees thus seem to make choices regarding the in-store music that reduce sales, implying that store owners might want to limit their opportunities to influence the background music.

Nominated procurement and the indirect control of nominated sub-suppliers: Evidence from the Sri Lankan apparel supply chain
Article (with peer review)Publication
Fontana, E., Öberg, C., Poblete, L.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

This article describes and discusses nominated procurement as a means through which buyers select sub-suppliers to achieve sustainability compliance upstream in emerging economies’ supply chains. Hence, it critically examines the ways buyers articulate nominated procurement and the unfolding supply chain consequences. Based on in-depth interviews and fieldwork in the Sri Lankan apparel supply chain, the findings indicate that buyers accomplish sustainability compliance among their sub-suppliers while prioritizing their own business agenda. In doing so, however, buyers perpetuate “suboptimal compliance” of raw material suppliers and “sandwiching” of direct suppliers as harmful consequences on the supply chain. These consequences link theoretically with commercial, geographical, compliance and extended-compliance pressure. This article contributes to the advancement of the Sustainable Supply Chain Management literature by theorizing about nominated procurement, direct and indirect pressure, and pointing to the supply chain consequences beyond achievements in sustainability compliance.

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