Natan De Souza Marques
Doctorate – Institutional environment and innovation in startup companies: The moderating role of business incubators
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Roberto Sbragia
Comission: Profs. Drs. Luciane Meneguin Ortega Vidal, Roberto Carlos Bernardes and Guilherme Ary Plonski
The institutional environment – and its components: regulatory, normative, and cognitive - has required many adaptations from companies, in order to follow the rules of the market game and innovate, considering innovation as a need for the achievement of sustainable competitive advantages. The connection between innovation and the institutional environment is particularly relevant for small companies, mostly vulnerable to external influences, since their competitive advantages tend to be less sustainable than those of large companies, in the case of an environmental change (Urban, 2014, 2016). Therefore, it is vital to examine the influence of the institutional environment on innovation. This study aims to analyze the association between the favorability of the institutional environment and innovation in startup companies. As specific objectives, it seeks (a) to check the association between the favorability of the institutional environment (considering its regulatory, normative and cognitive components) and innovation (product, process, value, management, and business model) in startups; and (b) to verify the moderating effect of incubators on the relationship between the institutional environment and innovation, for incubated startups. Hence, we used a quantitative approach that collected data in 303 companies, of which 210 were valid for the research and comprised the study sample. As a result, we identified significant associations between some components of the institutional environment and some types of innovation. The regulatory component of the institutional environment showed a significant association with management innovation, although results revealed a negative relationship, indicating that environments whose regulatory component is unfavorable tend to stimulate more innovations in management. In addition, we also identified significant associations between the normative component of the institutional environment and innovations in product, process and value. Finally, we have demonstrated a significant association between the regulatory component of the institutional environment and management innovation. Regarding the moderating effect of incubators, they inversely moderated only the relationship between the regulatory component and management innovation. We present the unfolding of these results in the Discussion section of the study.
*Abstract provided by the author