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Scholars’ Identity Transition and Its Impact on Spin-Offs’ R&D Input

Xiaohua Li (), Daozhou Yang () and Wu Zhao ()
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Xiaohua Li: School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Daozhou Yang: School of Journalism and Communication, Hubei University of Economics, Wuhan 430213, China
Wu Zhao: School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xi’an 710114, China

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 4, 1-14

Abstract: This paper explores the academic entrepreneur’s identity transition and its impact on spin-off’s innovative input. Central to this study is the factors that influence scholars’ position-holding behavior and their impact on spin-offs. Based on the data of the 2005–2010 SME Innovation Fund and 14 interviews, we investigate the influence of scholars’ role embeddedness on their entrepreneurial role-taking behavior from the perspective of identity theory. Empirical results show that scholars with higher embeddedness in academia are less likely to hold a spin-offs’ CEO position. Besides, follow-up research found that scholars holding CEO positions can increase a spin-off’s R&D input, which reveals the influence of scholars’ career imprinting and its scientific logic on role-taking behaviors and spin-offs’ innovation input. We also empirically test the effect of scientific logic and business logic on a spin-off’s innovation input, concluding that conflicts between these two logics are detrimental to a firm’s innovation input. This paper contributes to existing literature by providing a new perspective for identity theory and has implications for scholars’ entrepreneurial practice. Additionally, it provides a theoretical basis for technology transfer and open innovation policy.

Keywords: academic entrepreneurship; role-taking; identity transition; institutional logics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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