Research Topics and Projects

Project coordination: Simone Schweiger

An entrepreneurially oriented firm is capable of revitalizing businesses and venturing into new business opportunities. Especially, in times of shortened product and business life cycles, higher degrees of technological intensity, and uncertain profit streams, an Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) is essential for sustaining competitiveness. Proactively searching for new opportunities, being innovative when satisfying customer demand and venturing projects with uncertain outcomes, provides a chance to bring a company ahead of competition, i.e., being a fist mover. An entrepreneurially oriented firm exhibits the proper alignment of its operations, decisions-making processes and strategy-making in this respect. EO can serve to “target premium market segments and charge correspondingly high prices, control access to the market by dominating distribution channels, and establish their products as the industry's standard” (Zahra and Covin 1995, p. 46). Nevertheless, being a pioneer may also entail higher costs and risks, but research suggests that the benefits outbalance the drawbacks. This seems to be especially true in hostile environments, where a higher need to seek out new opportunities governs in order to be successful.

Project coordination: Adrian Wüthrich

Strategy-making in new venture firms is most often performed by teams, rather than individuals. Such New Venture Teams (NVTs) differ from established firms’ top management teams because they operate in a new venture context which is characterized by higher levels of resource scarcity, ambiguity, and an emphasized need for creativity. How NVTs are composed in terms of individual team members’ attributes has substantial influence on various team processes and subsequent outcome measures (e.g., new venture performance). Especially, the variation of such attributes (i.e., heterogeneity/homogeneity) has received much research attention because it is the unique combination of individuals’ attributes that largely determines how NVTs work and function as a group. While there exist numerous types of team heterogeneity, some scholars have argued that deep-level composition variables such as personality factors, values, or attitudes are likely to have “a stronger influence on team performance” (Bell, 2007: 596).  And precisely, within NVTs such variables “are likely to remain more stable” as a venture firm evolves over time (Klotz et al., 2014: 247). Therefore, relying on both qualitative and quantitative methods, we investigate personality heterogeneity in NVTs. By doing so, we want to extend existing knowledge on how the composition of NVTs affects subsequent team processes and various outcome variables.

Project coordination: Noora Marttila

Since years, entrepreneurship scholars are addressing the question why some individuals – but not others – become entrepreneurs. Extant research has shown that an individual entrepreneurial mindset is of growing interest when it comes to explaining entrepreneurial intentions. An entrepreneurial mindset is a configuration of four dimensions, i.e., the perception of the person itself, the venturing situation, the cognition as well as the motivation of an individual. As such, an entrepreneurial mindset is suggested to impact entrepreneurial intentions by tackling person-situation interactions. We want to advance the conceptualization of an entrepreneurial mindset to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of its relationship to entrepreneurial intentions.