The Dynamics of New Venture Development: Scaling and Entrepreneurial Teams
DESANTOLA-DISSERTATION-2019.pdf (934.5Kb)(embargoed until: 2021-05-01)
DeSantola, Alicia Taylor
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CitationDeSantola, Alicia Taylor. 2019. The Dynamics of New Venture Development: Scaling and Entrepreneurial Teams. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation seeks to enhance our understanding of entrepreneurial ventures as dynamic social organizations, focusing on topics related to scaling and entrepreneurial teams. It is motivated by two contemporaneous movements within scholarship at the nexus of organization theory, strategy, and entrepreneurship. First, while scholars have increasingly called attention to the dynamism of entrepreneurial ventures, limited work has systematically explored how they evolve over time. Second, while entrepreneurship has increasingly been framed as a team-based endeavor, limited work has examined the groups of actors who are central to entrepreneurial processes other than founders. Across three essays, this dissertation takes steps to bridge these gaps in the study of new venture development while also enriching our understanding of theory. The first essay reviews and synthesizes fragmented research perspectives on the relationship between internal organizing and growth in entrepreneurial ventures. Building on this review, the second and third essays offer empirical examinations of scaling and entrepreneurial team composition. The second essay explores how early joiners with prior entrepreneurial work experience influence likelihood of progression as ventures seek to scale. It contributes to our theoretical understanding of entrepreneurial resources and suggests the importance of early endowments of knowledge resources and knowledge resource variety for growth-oriented ventures. The third essay explores longitudinal changes in entrepreneurial board composition through the lens of gender. It enhances our understanding of the limits of homophily, advancing a role-contingent perspective on when spillover effects from the presence of other women might be anticipated to promote the addition of women to leadership groups such as entrepreneurial boards.
Overall, the essays are united by their common focus on boundary expansion. Through growth, the boundaries of a venture expand, exposing it to increased complexity which becomes mirrored in how it organizes. Growth also push the boundaries of the circle of actors in a position to shape the venture beyond its founders to encompass multiple groups of constituent actors such as joiners and board members. Finally, the study of entrepreneurial ventures raises questions about implicit societal boundaries that limit who participates in entrepreneurial processes, asking us to consider ways such boundaries may be overcome.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42029745
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