Do Hybrid Goals Pay off? Social and Economic Goals in Academic Spin-Offs

Hooman Abootorabi, Raj K. Shankar, Einar Rasmussen, Johan Wiklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


New ventures often pursue both economic and social goals, known as goal hybridity. Yet, we know less about how organizational goal hybridity influences the performance and governance of new ventures. Goal hybridity is common among academic spin-offs (ASOs) seeking to commercialize scientific research from universities. We hypothesize that ASOs’ goal hybridity influences their subsequent performance and their governance structure. We also hypothesize that ASOs who enrol multiple stakeholders with investment goals aligned with their hybrid goals outperform the ASOs who do not. By combining several data sources, we follow Norwegian ASOs longitudinally and find that goal hybridity explains their subsequent performance differences, such that ASOs relying on both economic and social aspects of their business when formulating their goals outperform those who rely purely on economic or social goals. We also find that ASOs with hybrid goals outperform when they enrol multiple stakeholders who are aligned with their hybrid goals. Our findings have implications for theorizing in hybridity, stakeholder enrolment, and the organizational goals literatures. We also provide a fuller understanding on performance heterogeneity of ASOs, and we offer a set of practice and policy implications to academic entrepreneurship and public-private partnership literatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-140
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • academic entrepreneurship
  • academic spin-offs
  • hybrid goals
  • organizational goals
  • organizational hybridity
  • stakeholder enrolment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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