Incubation Process Case Study

Jeffrey Shepard


The purpose of this case study is to create a profile of business incubators by exploring various aspects concerned with their operations. While tracing the history, development and current practices of business incubators, the aspects explored include the identification of:  the nature of clients served, incubator mission, incubator staffing/personnel, incubator management, incubator resources, and incubator facilities/technology. The main motivation behind this case study is to compile an exhaustive profile of business incubators into one paper.

This case study mainly utilized secondary research. By using questionnaires, a survey conducted among managers of selected business incubators in the United States was done. The exploratory nature of this study prompted the use of open ended questions.

Findings concerning incubator mission are that current incubators mainly provide professional services of increased complexity as opposed to earlier incubators. Regarding personnel, modern incubators have formal organization structures characterized by the aspect of co-learning. While earlier incubators primarily offered cheap rental space, modern incubators share resources via a complex network of virtual connectivity. On technology, sophisticated technological communication interfaces such as the internet are vital, previous incubators relied on outdated technology. Concerning management, modern incubators require highly adaptive managers capable of addressing specific needs due to the constantly changing business environment. Other findings include the fact that clients are predominantly small business owners and students. Further, managers mainly provide direct services to clients such as mentoring, coaching, and training.

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Management and Organizational Studies  ISSN 2330-5495 (Print)  ISSN 2330-5509 (Online)

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