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Founding conditions and the survival of new firms: An imprinting perspective on founders, organizational members and external environments
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

New firms are important sources of new employment, economic growth and innovation. Yet, a large portion of them do not manage to survive their first years of existence. This is often linked to their initial lack of capabilities, resources, routines and legitimacy. Certain favorable conditions at founding may allow new firms to partially overcome these initial shortcomings, and help them survive. For instance, organizational members’ prior experience may provide knowledge and skills to the new firm. However, it may also act as a constraint. It can lead new firms to follow a prescribed way of doing things which may ultimately threaten their survival. Similarly, certain unfavorable conditions of the external environment at founding may paradoxically offer a fertile ground for new firms to nurture their survival. Thus, whether some founding conditions are good or bad for new firms is still an unanswered question.

Building on imprinting theory, this dissertation investigates how different founding conditions affect the survival of new firms. At the organizational level, I study founders’ prior working experience in an incumbent family firm, organizational members’ prior shared international experience and prior industry experience, and focus respectively on three types of new firms: entrepreneurial spawns, international new ventures and high/mid-high tech new firms. I use a matched employer-employee dataset to test the effect of different types of prior experience on new firm survival. At the environment level, I propose how population density of similar organizational forms and the mortality of generalist organizations at founding may affect the survival of new family firms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School , 2016. , 63 p.
Series
JIBS Dissertation Series, ISSN 1403-0470 ; 111
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31935ISBN: 978-91-86345-70-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31935DiVA: diva2:1033301
Public defence
2016-10-14, B1014, Jönköping University, International Business School, Jönköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The survival of family-firm spawns
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The survival of family-firm spawns
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We analyze whether entrepreneurial spawns from family firms are more likely to survive than spawns from non-family firms. Using a matched employer employee panel data set, we find that entrepreneurial spawns from family firms survive longer than spawns from non-family firms. To mitigate endogeneity concerns, we used a two-stage model for self-selection into spawning and implemented coarsened exact matching to compare more closely aligned treatment (family parent) and control (non-family parent) samples. We further show that entrepreneurial spawns from family firms survive longer when located closer to the parent firm and when the founder had longer tenure at the parent firm.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31930 (URN)
Note

An earlier version of this paper has been presented at the Strategic Management Society (SMS) Annual Meeting in Madrid (Spain) in 2014 under the title ‘Back to the roots: Inherited ownership effects and spawns’ performance’ with Mattias Nordqvist.

Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved
2. Prior shared international experience and the survival of international new ventures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prior shared international experience and the survival of international new ventures
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper shows how organizational members’ prior shared experience in international firms affects the survival of the international new ventures (INVs) to which they belong. I propose that as the length of prior shared international experience (PSIE) increases, these ventures are more likely to draw greater survival-enhancing benefits from the pre-existing routines and capabilities that their members previously developed while working together in the same international firm. However, for high PSIE length, INVs may find it difficult and costly to revise existing routines and capabilities and to develop new ones to achieve survival. Using a unique sample of Swedish INVs, I find that PSIE has an inverted U-shaped relationship with survival. Further, I theorize and show that contextual familiarity between the contexts in which PSIE was acquired and those in which it is applied through the INV is an important contingency of the PSIE-survival relationship. This study has valuable implications for research on international entrepreneurship and shared experience.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31931 (URN)
Note

An earlier version of this paper has been presented at the Academy of International Business (AIB) Annual Meeting in New Orleans (United States) in 2016 under the title ‘Founders' prior shared experience and the survival of born global firms’.

Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved
3. Industry knowledge, prior industry experience and new venture survival
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Industry knowledge, prior industry experience and new venture survival
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent research suggests that new ventures can overcome threats to their survival by gaining access to technological knowledge from other firms in their industry even without directly transacting with them or joining their networks. This access can be obtained through vicarious learning that allows new ventures to benefit from spillovers of industry knowledge made public through patents. However, absorbing industry knowledge can be difficult for new ventures. On the one hand, new ventures have different absorptive capacities as a result of their organizational members’ prior experience within the current industry and across different industries. On the other hand, industries differ in the characteristics of their public technological knowledge (i.e., intensity and breadth). We propose that the intensity and breadth of an industry’s public technological knowledge interact with organizational members’ prior industry experience to determine the ability of new ventures to learn vicariously, affecting the likelihood of venture survival. Our results show that having prior experience in the same industry is beneficial for new venture survival when the technological knowledge within an industry is high in intensity and breadth, while prior experience across different industries is beneficial when this knowledge is low in intensity and breadth. This study contributes to the literature on prior industry experience, organizational learning, absorptive capacity and new venture survival.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31932 (URN)
Note

An earlier version of this paper has been presented at the Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting in Vancouver (Canada) in 2015 under the title ‘Industry Knowledge Characteristics, Prior Experience and New Venture Survival’ with Zahra, S., Naldi, L., Larrañeta, B.

Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved
4. The survival of new family firms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The survival of new family firms
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Motivated by both the scarcity of studies on the survival of new family firms and the call to better understand how external environments may affect family firms, I apply organizational ecology to outline the potential effects of environmental conditions on the survival of new family firms. This study extends organizational ecology in the context of new family firms, proposes three testable propositions and opens new avenues for research on the ecology of (new) family firms.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31933 (URN)
Note

An earlier version of this paper has been published in “Theoretical Perspectives on Family Businesses” edited by Nordqvist, M., Melin,L., Waldkirch, M., Kumeto, G., in 2015 under the title ‘Organisational ecology and the family business’.

Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2016-10-06Bibliographically approved

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