Measuring the performance of business incubators
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerp :UA, 2012
Research paper / UA, Faculty of Applied Economics ; 2012:012
University of Antwerp
This paper focuses on incubator performance measurement. First, we report the findings of an extensive literature review. Both existing individual measures and more comprehensive measurement systems are discussed. This literature review shows that most incubator researchers and practitioners only use one or a few indicators for performance evaluation, and that existing measurement systems do not recognize the importance of short, medium and long-term results, do not always include an incubators strategic objectives and are neither easily comprehensible nor accessible. Moreover, there is no link between performance measurement and its influence on incubator employees. To tackle the weaknesses found in existing literature, we suggest to employ Kaplan and Nortons strategy map and balanced scorecard. Based on the results of a qualitative empirical study, we translate these tools to the context of not-for-profit economic development incubators and test their practical usefulness. We call the tools the SMEDI (Strategy Map for Economic Development Incubators) and BSEDI (Balanced Scorecard for Economic Development Incubators). In a concluding section, we discuss the papers main contributions and limitations, and reflect on a few possible future research avenues.