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Title:Characteristics of business incubators influencing collaboration among member startup firms
Author(s):Samuel, Noah Oluwafemi
Director of Research:Williams, Kathleen H
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Williams, Kathleen H
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Twidale, Michael B; Chu, Clara M; Shah, Sonali K
Department / Program:Information Sciences
Discipline:Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Collaboration
Business Incubators, Startup Firms
Abstract:This study considered the socio-physical characteristics influencing collaboration among startup firms in four business incubators. Previous studies have elaborated on how collaboration fosters innovation. However, how business incubators promote collaboration among startup firms remains a subject for exploration. This study situated the incubator communities as social systems following Roger's (2003) conception of a social system and its impact on innovation. The researcher interviewed 44 representatives of firms and one manager per incubator. The study was conducted across four business incubators in the US Midwest. The 44 interview participants represented and provided information on 89 co-founders of the firms. Findings show that business incubators' social, physical, and informational characteristics, namely corporate membership, space configuration, informal and formal networking, industry focus, information environment, and human and social capital, foster collaboration. The study reported nine types of collaborations. Strategic partnerships are the predominant collaboration types among firms. Other collaboration types observed include information seeking, mutual telling, expanded insights, division of labor, advising, actual collaboration, mutual optimism, and one-way information transfer. The study introduced intentional sociality as an explanatory model for how business incubators can promote collaboration among startup firms. Intentional sociality points to three areas of concentration for incubator management. These areas include the location and the design of incubator space, the information environment of business incubators, and the industry focus of the admitted firms. Intentional sociality emphasizes the breadth and depth of relationships among firms and with external entities as a way of promoting opportunities for collaboration.
Issue Date:2021-04-21
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/110525
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Noah Oluwafemi Samuel
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05


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