Building for competitive advantage in early stage start-ups : the role of entrepreneurial capabilities

Steffens, Paul R. & Burgers, Henri (2009) Building for competitive advantage in early stage start-ups : the role of entrepreneurial capabilities. In Solomon, George (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2009 Academy of Management Annual Meeting : Green Management Matters, 7–11 August 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

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Recent theoretical work has suggested “entrepreneurial capabilities” themselves may provide the resource foundations to deliver competitive advantage for entrepreneurial firms. This paper empirically examines how start-ups use such entrepreneurial capabilities to build competitive advantage. We investigate the effects of technological and marketing expertise, knowledge of market trends, flexibility and networking on the ability to obtain a cost leadership or differentiation advantage. Using a large dataset of 1,108 start-ups obtained after random sampling of over 30,193 households, we find that differentiation strategies benefit from most resource advantages. Cost leadership strategies, however, seem only to benefit from technological expertise and flexibility and not related to market-based advantages. By doing so, this study contributes to both entrepreneurship and RBV-theories by showing how entrepreneurial capabilities lead to competitive advantages in nascent and early-stage start-ups.

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ID Code: 27848
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Competitive Advantage, Start-ups, Entrepreneurial Capabilities
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Academy of Management
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2009 21:35
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2016 02:14

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