Network orchestration: new role of business incubators?


  • Luiz Guilherme Rodrigues Antunes Department of Administration and Economics, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Brazil and School of Economics, Administration and Accounting, University of São Paulo
  • Cleber Carvalho de Castro Department of Administration and Economics, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Brazil,
  • Andrea Ap da Costa Mineiro IEPG, UNIFEI, Itajuba, Brazil and PPGA, UFLA, Lavras



Network orchestration, Incubated business networks, Incubator internal networks, Incubators actions


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the performance of incubators in the stages of formation
and development of incubated business networks, especially in bottom-up and top-down network models.
Design/methodology/approach – The research is defined as qualitative and descriptive, with the
application of multiple case studies, in which two networks of incubated businesses were investigated, one
being top-down and the other bottom-up, which emerged within the incubation process of two business
incubators (CIETEC and INCIT). To make the study operational, 11 semi-structured interviews were carried
out and the thematic analysis of content was developed.
Findings – The results pointed out that in the top-down network the incubator performs a new assignment,
the network orchestration, which corresponds to the actions of formation, coordination and governance of the
group. In the bottom-up network, it was found that the role of the incubator was to expand the value offers
usually practiced.
Research limitations/implications – As a limitation of the research, the very limitation of case studies
is pointed out that is they do not allow for generalizations.
Practical implications – The research contributes to reflections on the effectiveness of the incubator and
sheds light on the complementarity of networks in incubation processes, providing gains for incubators,
incubated businesses and society.
Originality/value – The originality of this document is the new role of the incubator, which is
orchestration, and its categorization. The results allow us to understand the effects of providing networks and
relationships for incubated businesses. In addition, this study broadens the focus of traditional analyses of the
incubator–incubated duo to consider the incubator–network–incubated trio.


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Como Citar

Rodrigues Antunes, L. G., Carvalho de Castro, C. ., & da Costa Mineiro, A. A. . (2021). Network orchestration: new role of business incubators?. INMR - Innovation & Management Review, 18(1), 51-68.