Building Intellectual Capital in Incubated Technology Firms

Clare Gately, James Cunningham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: The value of relational capital generated by entrepreneurs with their internal and external environment (Hormiga, Batista-Canino and Sanchez-Medina, 2011), provides considerable resources when properly leveraged. It is particularly important in environments such as the high tech sector of incomplete information and weak economic markets such as new products, markets or technologies (Davidsson, and Honig, 2003). The paper examines how incubated technology entrepreneurs build relational capital for a new venture formation in the social context of a Higher Education Institution. Design/methodology/approach: Our study took a qualitative approach based on content analysis of business plans and in-depth interviews with twenty-five technology entrepreneurs on an incubation programme – South East Enterprise Platform Programme - for technology graduates in the South East of Ireland. Findings: Our study found that technology entrepreneurs during new venture formation engaged in four types of relational capital activities, namely, development of networks and contacts, relationship building, accessing and leveraging knowledge experts and members of associations. Practical Implications: Incubator programmes need to actively support social building activities of technology entrepreneurs. HEI knowledge assets and networks are critical elements in supporting incubator technology entrepreneurs. Originality/Value: Our study identified four types of relational capital building. We also found using Evans Jones (1995) categorization of technology entrepreneurs that users, producers, opportunists and non–technical entrepreneurs engaged in client focused relational capital building, whereas researcher types networked with service providers and displayed arms length relational capital building styles.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)516-536
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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