Entrepreneurs’ Actions for Successful New Venture Creation

Entrepreneurs’ actions kick off a new business. But what exactly do entrepreneurs do? And how do they act? In a long-term study we analyze the connection between entrepreneurs’ actions and venture success.

Factsheet

  • Lead department Business
  • Institute Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • Research unit Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration (planned) 01.04.2018 - 30.09.2021
  • Project management Susan Müller
  • Head of project Susan Müller
  • Project staff Justus von Grone
  • Partner American University
    University of Warwick
    HEC Montréal
  • Keywords entrepreneur, behavior, action, activity, success, startup

Situation

It takes actions to start and grow a business. But which actions conducted in which manner enhance the likelihood for a new venture to be successful? Different aspects of entrepreneurs’ actions and their influence on venture emergence or performance have been analyzed. Some studies analyze whether engaging in specific activities such as business planning or marketing influence venture outcomes. Others assess whether the timing of activities or the total number of hours invested in the creation of a new venture is more material. Yet, while all these studies get some pieces of the jigsaw puzzle right, a comprehensive picture of venture creation is still missing. “Just what it is what they do?”, as Robert Baron asked. (Baron, 2007, p. 168)

Course of action

To address the issue and gain a comprehensive picture of entrepreneurs’ actions, we conduct an in-depth, longitudinal study which tracks entrepreneurs’ actions over one year. Our research design includes (a) a sample of highly-innovative entrepreneurs currently engaged in launching a new venture (n=101 at the beginning of the study), (b) a one-year, intense data collection phase in which we capture entrepreneurs’ actions through structured monthly interviews and (c) the recording of various success measures at the beginning of the data collection phase, after the intense one-year data collection phase and after another year. In the monthly interviews we capture three main issues: (1) critical events and how entrepreneurs dealt with them, (2) the main activities on which entrepreneurs spend their time and (3) the objectives set for the next four weeks. We will engage in qualitative and quantitative studies to understand behavioral patterns that increase the likelihood of early venture success.