Attractiveness of venture ideas : a conjoint study

Semasinge, Dissanayake, Davidsson, Per, & Steffens, Paul R. (2010) Attractiveness of venture ideas : a conjoint study. In Langan-Fox, Janice (Ed.) Proceedings of the 7th AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Swinburne University of Technology, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, pp. 119-129.

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Principal Topic : According to Shane & Venkataraman (2000) entrepreneurship consists of the recognition and exploitation of venture ideas - or opportunities as they often called - to create future goods and services. This definition puts venture ideas is at the heart of entrepreneurship research. Substantial research has been done on venture ideas in order to enhance our understanding of this phenomenon (e.g. Choi & Shepherd, 2004; Shane, 2000; Shepherd & DeTienne, 2005). However, we are yet to learn what factors drive entrepreneurs' perceptions of the relative attractiveness of venture ideas, and how important different idea characteristics are for such assessments. Ruef (2002) recognized that there is an uneven distribution of venture ideas undertaken by entrepreneurs in the USA. A majority introduce either a new product/service or access a new market or market segment. A smaller percentage of entrepreneurs introduce a new method of production, organizing, or distribution. This implies that some forms of venture ideas are perceived by entrepreneurs as more important or valuable than others. However, Ruef does not provide any information regarding why some forms of venture ideas are more common than others among entrepreneurs. Therefore, this study empirically investigates what factors affect the attractiveness of venture ideas as well as their relative importance. Based on two key characteristics of venture ideas, namely venture idea newness and relatedness, our study investigates how different types and degrees of newness and relatedness of venture ideas affect their attractiveness as perceived by expert entrepreneurs.

Methodology/Key : Propositions According to Schumpeter (1934) entrepreneurs introduce different types of venture ideas such as new products/services, new method of production, enter into new markets/customer and new method of promotion. Further, according to Schumpeter (1934) and Kirzner (1973) venture ideas introduced to the market range along a continuum of innovative to imitative ideas. The distinction between these two extremes of venture idea highlights an important property of venture idea, namely their newness. Entrepreneurs, in order to gain competitive advantage or above average returns introduce their venture ideas which may be either new to the world, new to the market that they seek to enter, substantially improved from current offerings and an imitative form of existing offerings. Expert entrepreneurs may be more attracted to venture ideas that exhibit high degree of newness because of the higher newness is coupled with increased market potential (Drucker, 1985) Moreover, certain individual characteristics also affect the attractiveness of venture idea. According to Shane (2000), individual's prior knowledge is closely associated with the recognition of venture ideas. Sarasvathy's (2001) Effectuation theory proposes a high degree of relatedness between venture ideas and the resource position of the individual. Thus, entrepreneurs may be more attracted to venture ideas that are closely aligned with the knowledge and/or resources they already possess. On the other hand, the potential financial gain (Shepherd & DeTienne, 2005) may be larger for ideas that are not close to the entrepreneurs' home turf. Therefore, potential financial gain is a stimulus that has to be considered separately. We aim to examine how entrepreneurs weigh considerations of different forms of newness and relatedness as well as potential financial gain in assessing the attractiveness of venture ideas. We use conjoint analysis to determine how expert entrepreneurs develop preferences for venture ideas which involved with different degrees of newness, relatedness and potential gain. This analytical method paves way to measure the trade-offs they make when choosing a particular venture idea. The conjoint analysis estimates respondents' preferences in terms of utilities (or part-worth) for each level of newness, relatedness and potential gain of venture ideas. A sample of 50 expert entrepreneurs who were awarded young entrepreneurship awards in Sri Lanka in 2007 is used for interviews. Each respondent is interviewed providing with 32 scenarios which explicate different combinations of possible profiles open them into consideration. Conjoint software (SPSS) is used to analyse data.

Results and Implications : The data collection of this study is still underway. However, results of this study will provide information regarding the attractiveness of each level of newness, relatedness and potential gain of venture idea and their relative importance in a business model. Additionally, these results provide important implications for entrepreneurs, consultants and other stakeholders as regards the importance of different of attributes of venture idea coupled with different levels. Entrepreneurs, consultants and other stakeholders could make decisions accordingly.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 32165
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Venture Ideas, Entrepreneurship
ISBN: 9780980332865
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 2010 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 13 May 2010 04:41
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2012 21:46

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