Dimensions of the venture creation process : amount, dynamics, and sequences of action in nascent entrepreneurship

Gordon, Scott Robert (2012) Dimensions of the venture creation process : amount, dynamics, and sequences of action in nascent entrepreneurship. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This research examines the entrepreneurship phenomenon, and the question: Why are some venture attempts more successful than others? This question is not a new one. Prior research has answered this by describing those that engage in nascent entrepreneurship. Yet, this approach yielded little consensus and offers little comfort for those newly considering venture creation (Gartner, 1988). Rather, this research considers the process of venture creation, by focusing on the actions of nascent entrepreneurs. However, the venture creation process is complex (Liao, Welsch, & Tan, 2005), and multi-dimensional (Davidsson, 2004). The process can vary in the amount of action engaged by the entrepreneur; the temporal dynamics of how action is enacted (Lichtenstein, Carter, Dooley, and Gartner 2007); or the sequence in which actions are undertaken. And little is known about whether any, or all three, of these dimensions matter. Further, there exists scant general knowledge about how the venture creation process influences venture creation outcomes (Gartner & Shaver, 2011). Therefore, this research conducts a systematic study of what entrepreneurs do as they create a new venture. The primary goal is to develop general principles so that advice may be offered on how to ‘proceed’, rather than how to ‘be’. Three integrated empirical studies were conducted that separately focus on each of the interrelated dimensions. The basis for this was a randomly sampled, longitudinal panel, of nascent ventures. Upon recruitment these ventures were in the process of being created, but yet to be established as new businesses. The ventures were tracked one year latter to follow up on outcomes. Accordingly, this research makes the following original contributions to knowledge. First, the findings suggest that all three of the dimensions play an important role: action, dynamics, and sequence. This implies that future research should take a multi-dimensional view of the venture creation process. Failing to do so can only result in a limited understanding of a complex phenomenon. Second, action is the fundamental means through which venture creation is achieved. Simply put, more active venture creation efforts are more likely more successful. Further, action is the medium which allows resource endowments their effect upon venture outcomes. Third, the dynamics of how venture creation plays out over time is also influential. Here, a process with a high rate of action which increases in intensity will more likely achieve positive outcomes. Forth, sequence analysis, suggests that the order in which actions are taken will also drive outcomes. Although venture creation generally flows in sequence from discovery toward exploitation (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000; Eckhardt & Shane, 2003; Shane, 2003), processes that actually proceed in this way are less likely to be realized. Instead, processes which specifically intertwine discovery and exploitation action together in symbiosis more likely achieve better outcomes (Sarasvathy, 2001; Baker, Miner, & Eesley, 2003). Further, an optimal venture creation order exists somewhere between these sequential and symbiotic process archetypes. A process which starts out as symbiotic discovery and exploitation, but switches to focus exclusively on exploitation later on is most likely to achieve venture creation. These sequence findings are unique, and suggest future integration between opposing theories for order in venture creation.

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ID Code: 58078
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Davidsson, Per, Burgers, Henri, & Fitzsimmons, Jason R.
Additional Information: Recipient 2012 QUT Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: Nascent entrepreneurship, Venture creation process, Entrepreneurial action, New business creation, Organisational emergence, Opportunity discovery and exploitation, Quantitative process research, Sequence analysis, CAUSEE, Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence, Scott Gordon, ODTA
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Statement: Copyright 2012 [The author]
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2013 01:43
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:47

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