The role of idea novelty and relatedness in nascent ventures

Dissanayake Mudiyanselage, Semasinghe (2011) The role of idea novelty and relatedness in nascent ventures. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The study of venture idea characteristics and the contextual fit between venture ideas and individuals are key research goals in entrepreneurship (Davidsson, 2004). However, to date there has been limited scholarly attention given to these phenomena. Accordingly, this study aims to help fill the gap by investigating the importance of novelty and relatedness of venture ideas in entrepreneurial firms.

On the premise that new venture creation is a process and that research should be focused on the early stages of the venturing process, this study primarily focuses its attention on examining how venture idea novelty and relatedness affect the performance in the venture creation process. Different types and degrees of novelty are considered here. Relatedness is shown to be based on individuals’ prior knowledge and resource endowment. Performance in the venture creation process is evaluated according to four possible outcomes: making progress, getting operational, being terminated and achieving positive cash flow. A theoretical model is developed demonstrating the relationship between these variables along with the investment of time and money. Several hypotheses are developed to be tested. Among them, it is hypothesised that novelty hinders short term performance in the venture creation process. On the other hand knowledge and resource relatedness are hypothesised to promote performance.

An experimental study was required in order to understand how different types and degrees of novelty and relatedness of venture ideas affect the attractiveness of venture ideas in the eyes of experienced entrepreneurs. Thus, the empirical work in this thesis was based on two separate studies. In the first one, a conjoint analysis experiment was conducted on 32 experienced entrepreneurs in order to ascertain attitudinal preferences regarding venture idea attractiveness based on novelty, relatedness and potential financial gains. This helped to estimate utility values for different levels of different attributes of venture ideas and their relative importance in the attractiveness. The second study was a longitudinal investigation of how venture idea novelty and relatedness affect the performance in the venture creation process. The data for this study is from the Comprehensive Australian Study for Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE) project that has been established in order to explore the new venture creation process in Australia. CAUSEE collects data from a representative sample of over 30,000 households in Australia using random digit dialling (RDD) telephone interviews. From these cases, data was collected at two points in time during a 12 month period from 493 firms, who are currently involved in the start-up process. Hypotheses were tested and inferences were derived through descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.

Results of study 1 indicate that venture idea characteristics have a role in the attractiveness and entrepreneurs prefer to introduce a moderate degree of novelty across all types of venture ideas concerned. Knowledge relatedness is demonstrated to be a more significant factor in attractiveness than resource relatedness. Results of study 2 show that the novelty hinders nascent venture performance. On the other hand, resource relatedness has a positive impact on performance unlike knowledge relatedness which has none. The results of these studies have important implications for potential entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, consultants etc. by developing a better understanding in the venture creation process and its success factors in terms of both theory and practice.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46162
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Davidsson, Per & Steffens, Paul
Keywords: conjoint analysis, innovation, knowledge relatedness, nascent, new venture creation, novelty, opportunity, resource relatedness, start-up, structural equation modelling, venture idea, CAUSEE
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2011 04:46
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2013 06:19

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