Entrepreneurship Research in Europe
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Entrepreneurship Research in Europe

Outcomes and Perspectives

Alain Fayolle, Paula Kyrö and Jan Ulijn

In this vital new book, leading international scholars highlight the unique characteristics and rich variety of European research in entrepreneurship. They pursue several different perspectives and focus on the key issues and most significant developments in the field.
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Chapter 11: The Strategic Spin-off Project: An Opportunity for Organizational Learning and Change

Allen Vernier


Allen Vernier INTRODUCTION The spin-off process, created at the beginning of the 1980s, soared considerably during the 1980s and the 1990s by bringing alternatives to crisis and its unpopular social plans. This practice, today clearly bound to the field of ‘entrepreneurship’ of which it represents one of the possible modes, has won acclaim little by little as the general press and scientific publications testify. For many years, it has been used in a very economic and liberal way. But now the spin-off practice has integrated a societal level contributing to creating employment, developing the local companies network, and so on. At the same time, as the Human Relations school and works on Motivation have made their way into mainstream Western thought, Personal Development also became of real value. This is why, even if there is no point in claiming that companies have discovered themselves as humanists, we can assert that the spin-off process is now one of the major tools in developing these practices and engraving some values in people’s minds. But, beyond this updating bound to the evolution of the context and possibly to the development of a social conscience in firms, spin-offs have sometimes changed their form rather radically. At the end of the 1990s, corporate spin-offs became strategic (Descamps, 2000). This practice participates in some cases in the creation of competitive advantages for firms and also enriches the strategic reflection while questioning it at the same time. Built around such notions as innovation, development of the know-how...

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