Networks Mobilized to Access Key Resources at Early Stages of Biotech Firms

Journal article


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Publication Details

Subtitle: A Comparative Analysis in Two Moderately Innovative Countries
Author list: Sousa C
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
Publication year: 2014
Volume number: 23
Issue number: 7
Start page: 1381
End page: 1400
Number of pages: 20
ISSN: 0965-4313
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


This paper investigates the networking behaviour of biotechnology
start-ups in peripheral locations. The aim is to understand whether the
conditions found in this type of environment introduce some
specificities in the networking process, namely in network building and
early mobilization to access key resources. The paper compares
biotechnology start-ups in Portugal and in Southern Italy, focusing on
relationships with research organizations and on the relevance assumed
by international connections, and investigating the role played by
entrepreneurs’ personal networks. The research identified some common
features that diverge from the typical biotechnology start-up behaviour
and can be regarded as firms’ adaptive responses to the conditions
faced. Notwithstanding the frequent presence of close connections with
local research organizations—that often play functions that go much
beyond that of a knowledge source—the local environment is a lesser
determinant for a substantial proportion of firms than would be expected
in start-ups. A distinctive feature of these firms is an extensive
reliance on foreign sources, for different purposes and from the very
early stages. Entrepreneurs’ personal networks are found to be
instrumental, both to identify and obtain knowledge in the vicinity and
to support the establishment of more complex distant relationships.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45