A Novel Approach to Incubator Evaluations: The PROMETHEE Outranking Procedures
Considerable public resources are devoted to the establishment and operation of business incubators (BIs), which are seen as catalysts for the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation activities and regional development. Despite the vast amount of research that has focused on the outcomes or effectiveness of incubator initiatives and how to measure incubator performance, there is still little understanding of how to determine incubators that are more effective than others. Based on data from 410 graduate firms, this paper applies the multi-criteria outranking technique PROMETHEE (Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluation) and compares the long-term effectiveness of five technology-oriented BIs in Germany. This is the first time that outranking procedures are used in incubator evaluations. In particular, we investigate whether PROMETHEE is a well-suited methodological approach for the evaluation and comparisons in the specific context of business incubation.