Factors contributing to visible performance in Saudi technology incubators

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In today’s competitive global market, technology business incubators are considered the backbone of a region’s economic development, involved in the creation of employment opportunities, boosting the local economy and commercializing, particularly as regard innovative technologies. In Saudi Arabia, incubators are working to develop innovative businesses with the potential to contribute to the nation’s technological growth. The goal of Saudi incubators is to focus on technology innovations. These incubators contribute to knowledge-based programs that produce opportunities that will help transform the country into a knowledge-based society and, in turn, contribute to a knowledge-based economy. With the development of a knowledge-based economy, incubators are considered viable business entities to generate products arise from a veritable mix of innovation, knowledge and its management within the incubators. For the success and performance to ensure survival of an incubator, the transfer of tacit knowledge is very important. Universities play a key role in transferring tacit knowledge into explicit form. In the context of university-based technology incubators, the university facilitates knowledge flows to the incubator through academics and processes. Thus, incubators play a vital role as a catalyst for economic development by ongoing knowledge transfer. This research explores the major factors influencing Saudi technology incubators’ performance. It examines factors that include knowledge sharing, individual creativity and innovation diffusion. Based on existing theories and extensive related studies, the conceptual model of this study was conducted. This study adopts a mixed method approach (quantitative and qualitative) through two stages. First, the quantitative approach was conducted to empirically investigate the factors’ relationships in the proposed model through applying survey instrument. Second, the qualitative approach was applied in order to validate the quantitative results and present more insights into the identified factors’ relations with the conceptual model. The study shows that phase one (quantitative) of the research supports all the identified relations of the hypotheses of knowledge sharing organizational and individual factors, knowledge-sharing process (donation and collection), individual creativity and diffusion of innovation except H1b, H3a, H4a, H9 and H10 hypotheses that clarified as following:- H1b- Management support positively impacts knowledge sharing collection H3a- Rewards positively impacts knowledge sharing donation. H4a- Interpersonal trust positively impacts knowledge sharing donation. H9- Expertise positively impacts technology incubator performance. H10- Creative thinking skills positively impact technology incubator performance. The second phase (qualitative) of the research generated mixed findings. Most of qualitative phase findings endorse the quantitative results. On the other hand, some of these findings do not endorse the quantitative results, however they support the proposed hypotheses in the actual research. Finally, the study concludes and presents the current research and practices.
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