Knowledge relatedness and post-spin-off growth

Harry J. Sapienza, Annaleena Parhankangas, Erkko Autio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


In this article, we examine the effects of knowledge relatedness on the post-spin-off growth of firms spun off from industrial parent firms. We predict that growth is maximized when the knowledge base of the spin-off firm partially overlaps with that of its parent. This effect is due to learning: both too small and too great an overlap will inhibit growth, the first because limited knowledge overlap hampers local search and knowledge assimilation and the second because great knowledge overlap hampers the creation of novel knowledge combinations. The propositions are tested and confirmed using a sample of 54 industrial spin-off firms from Finland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-829
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Industrial parent firms
  • Knowledge relatedness
  • Post-spin-off growth


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