Structural and longitudinal analysis of the knowledge base on spin-off research

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Following the dynamism in spin-off research, in this study we conduct a structural and longitudinal bibliometric analysis of a sample of 812 articles on spin-offs published in 234 journals included in the ISI Web of Knowledge over a period of three decades. The analyses do not seek to establish a new conceptualization but rather to reveal the intellectual structure of the field and how it has evolved, and the profile of the knowledge network established in the three perspectives: corporate, academic and entrepreneurial spin-offs. The diversity involved in the three streams of spin-off research signals substantial differences. Theoretically, transaction costs, agency and the resource-based view have remained a foundation of spin-off research, albeit that research has been driven more by the phenomena than by developing the theory. The more traditional focus on corporate spin-offs was followed by emphasis on academic spin-offs and more recently on entrepreneurial spin-offs. This shift has been accompanied by a more business/management theoretical orientation, replacing a more financial and taxation-based perspective underlying corporate spin-offs. This study systematizes the existing stock of knowledge and raises avenues for additional inquiry.

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