Corporate spin-offs and the significance of founders' informal relations
Journal article, 2007
Research on corporate spin-offs has suggested that spin-off firms have advantages over other new entrants in air industry because of their origin. These advantages have been argued to lie with the founders' prior industry experience, and with the opportunity to form sourcing agreements with the parent firms. This paper inquires into an additional aspect of prior experience, founders' informal relations. The use and benefits of such informal relations to source resources necessary for growth were analysed in three spin-offs in the Swedish telecommunications industry. The findings show that the spin-offs derived a variety of benefits from the use of founders' informal relations, in particular in staffing the spin-offs, but also to acquire resources when other means of sourcing were unavailable. The results indicate that future research on corporate spin-offs as well as corporate spin-outs may need to account better for this variable in order to explain spin-off growth, and hence success.