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University spin-offs and their commercialisation through acquisition

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Christina Öberg, Företagandets villkor, Förvärv, Kommersialisering, Spin-offs, Universitet

Abstract

This paper discusses commercialisation through the acquisition of university spin-offs and its various outcomes based on resource and capability reconfigurations. The paper takes the university spin-offs perspective on the issue, meaning that it captures what happens with the university spin-off in terms of resource and capability configurations and the potential opening of new development paths as a consequence of the acquisition. Findings point to an increased gap between resources and capability use as the consequence of the acquisition. While resources may be added to the spin-off to fill resource gaps, the university spin-off is not helped but rather constrained in its use of its capabilities, and new capabilities may not be developed or added related to the added resources. Regardless of resource reconfigurations, the only obtained commercialisation is if the acquirer starts buying from the spin-off. The paper contributes to previous research through its focus on acquisitions of university spin-offs, and in its wider sense to literature on the commercialisation of research ideas.

Öberg, C. (2016). University spin-offs and their commercialisation through acquisition. International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 8(4), 413-436. DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2016.10002413

Based on content

Spin-in and spin-out for growth – On the acquisition and divestiture of high-tech firms
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

Purpose: This paper describes and discusses company spin-ins and spin-outs as a means to understand company growth in a dynamic context. The following question is asked: How can growth be understood in spin-ins and spin-outs of innovative firms? The paper suggests return on capabilities as a measure to understand growth in an open innovation context.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a single case study. Data was captured through interviews and secondary data sources.

Findings: The paper points to that resources alone do not explain strategic decisions by a company and how spin-ins and spin-outs result from the need for capabilities, changes in business foci and temporary solutions to deal with overcapacities or lack of alternatives.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to research by discussing contemporary issues in strategy and innovation and relating them to the resource-based view and the growth of the firm. Spin-outs, and acquisitions and divestitures as interlinked events have rarely been focused on in the literature, while they remain frequent phenomena in practice.

Open marketing – Conceptualizing external parties’ strategic marketing activities
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2020

Abstract

Open marketing as conceptualized in this paper refers to how external parties take part in strategic, integrative marketing activities. To distinguish this more recent trend in marketing from traditional meanings of marketing, the paper provides a typology on roles and role keepers in marketing. Four types of roles and role keepers are outlined: marketing as 1) solely being performed by actors in the supplier company communicating offerings, 2) an activity shared among functions of the supplier company, 3) external parties communicating offerings, and 4) external parties contributing to strategic marketing. Using the concept of ‘roles’ in marketing helps to structure activities and actors – or roles and role keepers – and provides a basis for understanding that marketing results from what is done, not merely from who performs it. The paper underlines how new ways of conducting business also have implications for a company’s marketing beyond its borders.

Disruptive and paradoxical roles in the sharing economies
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

The sharing economy could be said to disrupt who does what in exchanges. This paper categorises the roles played by users, providers, and platforms in different interpretations of the sharing economy. It asks: What different roles do the users, providers, and platforms play in the sharing economy? And: How do the roles differ in various interpretations of the sharing economy? The paper classifies the different interpretations based on their market/non-market logic and concludes that roles are more extensive for users and providers in non-market logic interpretations, while market logic suggests that the platform acts more roles. The user is, despite the peer-to-peer connotation of the sharing economy, often quite passive. Contributions are made to the emerging literature on the sharing economy through highlighting its many different interpretations, where roles help to systematise these. The paper furthermore contributes to the literature on roles through highlighting them as transitory and expanding beyond expectations related to digitalisation. Practically, the systematisation of roles helps to navigate among various business model designs and makes informed decisions when launching platforms in the sharing economy. Additionally, the focus on roles raises important questions on risk sharing, resource provisions, and the creation of value for each participating party.

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