Abstract

The knowledge based theory of the firm contends that the uniqueness of a firm’s knowledge plays a vital role in its ability to compete with firms that do not possess this knowledge. Most of the research on knowledge obtained through association with universities involves the study of technology related inventions and/or innovations that firms acquire from universities. There is little or no information or data on the importance of non-technical knowledge spillover by universities to new firm owners. By non-technical knowledge we refer to the training (via workshops, seminars, etc.) in the areas of management, marketing, sales, accounting etc., that individuals who are about to start a business could potentially receive from a university.

The research question we analyzed was: can knowledge obtained by individuals through non-technical university programs be used as a resource to gain advantage over competition? We proposed that knowledge obtained by individuals through non-technical university programs such as training and/or workshops or university sponsored consulting, can be used as a resource to gain a competitive advantage.

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