Curran, Declan and Van Egeraat, Chris and O'Gorman, Colm
Adverse Events and Opportunistic
Spin-offs: The Irish Biotech Sector. (NIRSA) Working Paper Series No.68.
NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
The process of spin-off firm formation exerts a profound impact on industry evolution. One important
trigger for spin-off formation is the impact that adverse events such as corporate restructuring or
bankruptcy have on organizations. We explore, in the context of the Irish biotechnology industry, the
mechanisms by which adverse events lead to spin-off formation. We show that an adverse event may
create unanticipated opportunities for those employees who are in a position to exploit them. We
contend this manner of spin-off formation does not fit neatly into the existing opportunity/necessity
conceptualisation of spin-off formation. Contributions include the extension of existing spin-off
typologies to include what we define as “opportunistic spin-offs”; and the identification of instances
of adverse events that might lead to “opportunistic spin-offs”.
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