Entrepreneurial firms are a critical engine for technological change and economic growth. Yet starting and growing a business is by no means an easy feat. In our research, we study how entrepreneurial firms are founded and how they evolve over time as they strive to survive and flourish.
For example, we look into how entrepreneurial firms gain legitimacy for their novel business propositions and how they overcome stigma when things go wrong. Our research sheds light on how firms adopt novel business models and ways of operating, including lean entrepreneurship methods and design thinking. We also examine how advances in digital technologies are enabling entrepreneurs to internationalise much earlier than even just a decade ago.
Growth and change in entrepreneurial firms
As new ventures grow, new challenges arise. How do founding team members allocate formal roles, such as that of the Chief Technology Officer? How do entrepreneurs keep their existing supporters on board when they “pivot”? And how do they seek to overcome stigma when things go wrong? Our research seeks to provide answers to these and other questions and give insights into how entrepreneurs can best manage their firms to achieve their growth ambitions.
Startups, scaleups and internationalisation
Advancement in digital technologies make it easier for startups to internationalise and scale up their operations. Many famous scaleups, including unicorn firms such as Airbnb and Uber, operated in multiple markets right from the outset. Our research looks into how entrepreneurial firms achieve internationalisation and how they overcome obstacles in this process.
Selected academic output
- Imprinting beyond the founding phase: how sedimented imprints develop over time by Bart Clarysse, Nelson Phillips and Lien de Cuyper
- The art of the pivot: How new ventures manage identification relationships with stakeholders as they change direction by Christian Hampel, Paul Tracey and Klaus Weber
- The company you keep: How an organisation's horizontal partnerships affect employee organisational identification by T. Bettina Cornwell, Jennifer Howard-Grenville and Christian Hampel
- Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems by Erkko Autio, Satish Nambisan, Llewellyn D. W. Thomas and Mike Wright