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Master's Thesis, 2018
73 Pages, Grade: 1,0
The present work focuses on the relationship between corporate spin-offs and leverage innovation. Increasing global competition, fast technological improvement, and rising customer expectations put increasing pressure on companies to operate in an efficient and effective manner, while continuously developing new products and services to meet current market demand. This results in increasing pressure on research and development (R&D) activities, especially for science-driven industries such as the chemical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or semiconductor companies. Businesses operating in these industries have a two-sided relationship towards innovation: On the one hand, success is driven by their research outcome, resulting in large R&D investments. At the same time, however, the outputs of their research are highly uncertain and, therefore, bear significant risks towards the organization. Moreover, as companies mature in their market position, the need for innovation increases, while at the same time their ability to generate innovation.
One of the most effective means to foster corporate entrepreneurship and innovation is the creation of spin-offs, where a parent company separates parts of its business into a new entity. It is an agile attempt to innovation, the parent organization can improve innovativeness, flexibility, and efficiency without losing capacity and keeping focus on their core business activities. Thus, an organization has the chance to leverage R&D outcome without significantly increasing operational risk. On the other side, the Corporate Spin-off is provided with assets and investment support, which implicates a significant advantage compared to start-up companies that lack initial resources.
In this context, corporate spin-offs are described as one of the most effective means to foster innovativeness by combining the best of both worlds. However, current literature reveals a gap in providing best practices and drivers for success. In order to fill this gap, an exploratory case study on Henkel Adhesive Technologies and Afinitica will be performed to answer the question “How can companies in R&D intensive industries leverage their research outcome through corporate spin-offs?”. The study entails theoretical (i.e. conceptual framework) and managerial implications that contribute to research and praxis alike.
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