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Venture idea newness, relatedness and performance in nascent ventures

Semasinge, Dissanayake & Davidsson, Per (2009) Venture idea newness, relatedness and performance in nascent ventures. In Gillin, L (Ed.) Proceedings of the 6th International AGSE Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Feb 3-6, 2009, ECIC, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Swinburne University of Technology, Adelaide, Australia , pp. 17-26.

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Abstract

Principal Topic

The study of the origin and characteristics of venture ideas - or ''opportunities'' as they are often called - and their contextual fit are key research goals in entrepreneurship (Davidsson, 2004). We define venture idea as ''the core ideas of an entrepreneur about what to sell, how to sell, whom to sell and how an entrepreneur acquire or produce the product or service which he/she sells'' for the purpose of this study. When realized the venture idea becomes a ''business model''. Even though venture ideas are central to entrepreneurship yet its characteristics and their effect to the entrepreneurial process is mysterious. According to Schumpeter (1934) entrepreneurs could creatively destruct the existing market condition by introducing new product/service, new production methods, new markets, and new sources of supply and reorganization of industries. The introduction, development and use of new ideas are generally called as ''innovation'' (Damanpour & Wischnevsky, 2006) and ''newness'' is a property of innovation and is a relative term which means that the degree of unfamiliarity of venture idea either to a firm or to a market. However Schumpeter's (1934) discusses five different types of newness, indicating that type of newness is an important issue. More recently, Shane and Venkataraman (2000) called for research taking into consideration not only the variation of characteristics of individuals but also heterogeneity of venture ideas, Empirically, Samuelson (2001, 2004) investigated process differences between innovative venture ideas and imitative venture ideas. However, he used only a crude dichotomy regarding the venture idea newness. According to Davidsson, (2004) as entrepreneurs could introduce new economic activities ranging from pure imitation to being new to the entire world market, highlighting that newness is a matter of degree. Dahlqvist (2007) examined the venture idea newness and made and attempt at more refined assessment of the degree and type of newness of venture idea. Building on these predecessors our study refines the assessment of venture idea newness by measuring the degree of venture idea newness (new to the world, new to the market, substantially improved while not entirely new, and imitation) for four different types of newness (product/service, method of production, method of promotion, and customer/target market). We then related type and degree of newness to the pace of progress in nascent venturing process. We hypothesize that newness will slow down the business creation process. Shane & Venkataraman (2000) introduced entrepreneurship as the nexus of opportunities and individuals. In line with this some scholars has investigated the relationship between individuals and opportunities. For example Shane (2000) investigates the relatedness between individuals' prior knowledge and identification of opportunities. Shepherd & DeTinne (2005) identified that there is a positive relationship between potential financial reward and the identification of innovative venture ideas. Sarasvathy's 'Effectuation Theory'' assumes high degree of relatedness with founders' skills, knowledge and resources in the selection of venture ideas. However entrepreneurship literature is scant with analyses of how this relatedness affects to the progress of venturing process. Therefore, we assess the venture ideas' degree of relatedness to prior knowledge and resources, and relate these, too, to the pace of progress in nascent venturing process. We hypothesize that relatedness will increase the speed of business creation.

Methodology

For this study we will compare early findings from data collected through the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE). CAUSEE is a longitudinal study whose primary objective is to uncover the factors that initiate, hinder and facilitate the process of emergence and development of new firms. Data were collected from a representative sample of some 30,000 households in Australia using random digit dialing (RDD) telephone survey interviews. Through the first round of data collection identified 600 entrepreneurs who are currently involved in the business start-up process. The unit of the analysis is the emerging venture, with the respondent acting as its spokesperson. The study methodology allows researchers to identify ventures in early stages of creation and to longitudinally follow their progression through data collection periods over time. Our measures of newness build on previous work by Dahlqvist (2007). Our adapted version was developed over two pre-tests with about 80 participants in each. The measures of relatedness were developed through the two rounds of pre-testing. The pace of progress in the venture creation process is assessed with the help of time-stamped gestation activities; a technique developed in the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED).

Results and Implications

We hypothesized that venture idea newness slows down the venturing process whereas relatedness facilitates the venturing process. Results of 600 nascent entrepreneurs in Australia indicated that there is marginal support for the hypothesis that relatedness assists the gestation progress. Newness is significant but is the opposite sign to the hypothesized. The results give number of implications for researchers, business founders, consultants and policy makers in terms of better knowledge of the venture creation process.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 26991
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Venture Idea, Nascent Ventures
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 (Please consult the authors).
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2009 12:10
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2012 12:03

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