Session Details: Session 1094

Learning and Performace in New Ventures

Track K

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 14:30 – 15:45

Common Ground

Room: Salon 19

Mike Wright, Imperial College London

Title: Adjusting for Success: Entrepreneurs’ Change Behaviors and Subsequent Venture Performance


  • Alan Boss, University of Washington-Bothell
  • J Robert Baum, University of Maryland

Abstract: Five distinct change behaviors (adaptation, bricolage, experimentation, improvisation, and trial and error) are often discussed in entrepreneurship literature. In this research we define these change behaviors and disentangled their overlapping characteristics. Using a sample of 20 entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC area, we conducted semi-structured interviews and rated each entrepreneur on the various change behavior characteristics. An exploratory factor analysis uncovered a two factor structure of the characteristics which we labeled multiple improvement actions and extemporaneous bricolage. We investigated each factors’ impact on future venture performance. Regression analysis showed that while extemporaneous bricolage did not account for a significant amount of subsequent venture performance, the new factor, multiple improvement actions, contributed significantly to the future performance of entrepreneurial ventures.

Title: Cultural Ambidexterity as a Dynamic Capability in Entrepreneurial Firms


  • Peter Bryant, IE Business School

Abstract: Scholars ask how entrepreneurial firms can remain exploratory and innovative while also developing exploitation and execution capabilities. One stream of research focuses on organizational ambidexterity, defined as the dynamic capability to both innovate and execute simultaneously. Yet building such capability is difficult in fast growing entrepreneurial firms. In fact, it is not yet clear how cultural ambidexterity can be developed and managed in such firms. My theoretical paper addresses this question. Building on recent work in cognitive psychology, I argue that dynamic cognitive constructs act as carriers of culture, and that the deliberate management of such constructs can be used to develop and maintain cultural ambidexterity. I present a series of exploratory propositions and discuss implications for future research and practice.

Title: Entrepreneurial Cognition and the Interaction Between Intelligence and Modes of Training


  • Chihmao Hsieh, University of Amsterdam

Abstract: Empirical and theoretical research fails to confirm that entrepreneurs are simply born or simply made. I argue that entrepreneurs are both born and made in the interactional sense. Individuals become self-employed after developing enough knowledge to identify valuable opportunities on their own. Those learning domains concomitantly rather than separately are more likely to become entrepreneurs because ‘connections’ detected across domains during concomitant learning are particularly valuable in the discovery of opportunities in the future. Yet, the positive effects of separated learning are more strongly amplified when individuals are particularly intelligent. Logit regressions on the SESTAT database broadly support the hypotheses.

Title: Individual Knowledge and Organizational Tenure: An Integrative Approach and Empirical Test of Absorptive Capacity


  • Erik Wetter, Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: Absorptive capacity is a construct that has been used by scholars to measure a host of outcomes, but there is still a lack of studies examining the impact of absorptive capacity on new firm survival and performance. In this paper we deconstruct absorptive capacity into an (a) individual knowledge component and an (b) organizational tenure component and proceed to test hypotheses using a longitudinal dataset on new ventures 1995-2002 containing both manufacturing firms (n=682) and service/consulting firms (n=5,477) active in knowledge-intensive industries. A novel finding is that absorptive capacity has differential effects in the different industry samples. There are also indications that positive firm performance correlates with increased hazard rates, raising the question whether positive firm performance is unequivocally good for the firm.

Title: Knowledge, Interorganizational Relationships and Corporate Entrepreneurship: The Joint Action of Knowledge Codification and Relationship Strength


  • Ana Maria Bojica, University of Granada
  • Maria del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes, University of Granada

Abstract: Enriching the perspective of the Austrian School of entrepreneurship with the implications of network theory and the relational perspective for entrepreneurial organizations, the proposed paper would go beyond the atomistic vision of entrepreneurship by analyzing how knowledge acquired through inter-organizational relationships influences the firm’s entrepreneurial behaviour. Specifically, our proposal focuses on analysing the joint action of knowledge codification and the strength of the relationship on entrepreneurship at the organizational level. At the same time, we would highlight a new and promising line of research: analysis of the joint influence of the characteristics of both relationships and knowledge on entrepreneurship at the organizational level.

Title: Top Management Experience and Organizational Learning in New Domains


  • Hakan Ener, IESE Business School

Abstract: This paper proposes and tests a managerial experience-based theory of firm performance and learning in new domains. Managers’ prior career experiences in the same domains substitute for the initial lack of organizational experience upon entry into new domains, thus increasing immediate firm performance. However, greater managerial experience may also create cognitive and behavioral rigidities in responding to new organizational experiences, thereby slowing down organizational learning and impairing longer-term firm performance. Empirical analysis of drug development projects pursued by US biopharmaceutical firms over two decades confirms these hypotheses, and reveals how selectively recruiting executives with greater variety of career experiences helps to boost longer term performance. The findings point towards a multi-level theory of organizational learning where executives’ career experiences impact the returns to organizational experience.

All Sessions in Track K...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1507: Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and its Relation to Entrepreneurship and Strategy
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1607: University Entrepreneurship
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1080: Ready, Set, GO! Launch Strategy and Performance
Session 1082: Corporate Venture Capital
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1085: Small Firm Strategy
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1079: Entrepreneurship in Context: International and Institutional Influences
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1078: Entrepreneurial Orientation
Session 1083: IPOs: Causes and Consequences
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1094: Learning and Performace in New Ventures
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1087: Networks and New Ventures
Session 1097: Raising Capital - Risky Business!
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1081: Venture Capital Investment: Worth the price?
Session 1099: Entrepreneurship Theory: Emerging Views

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference