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Power law distributions in entrepreneurship: Implications for theory and research
Ohio University, College of Business, Athens, United States.
Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, United States.
University of Massachusetts-Boston, College of Management, Boston, United States.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Queensland Univ Technol, Sch Business, Brisbane, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6363-1382
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Business Venturing, ISSN 0883-9026, E-ISSN 1873-2003, Vol. 30, no 5, p. 696-713Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A long-held assumption in entrepreneurship research is that normal (i.e., Gaussian) distributions characterize variables of interest for both theory and practice. We challenge this assumption by examining more than 12,000 nascent, young, and hyper-growth firms. Results reveal that variables which play central roles in resource-, cognition-, action-, and environment-based entrepreneurship theories exhibit highly skewed power law distributions, where a few outliers account for a disproportionate amount of the distribution's total output. Our results call for the development of new theory to explain and predict the mechanisms that generate these distributions and the outliers therein. We offer a research agenda, including a description of non-traditional methodological approaches, to answer this call. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Inc. , 2015. Vol. 30, no 5, p. 696-713
Keywords [en]
Entrepreneurship, Generative mechanisms, Growth, Outliers, Power law distribution
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47115DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2015.01.001ISI: 000358624700003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84937629756Local ID: IHHÖvrigtISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-47115DiVA, id: diva2:1379583
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Davidsson, Per

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