فراتر از کمیابی محیط زیست : سرمایه های انسانی و اجتماعی به عنوان نیروهای محرکه ی فعالیت های راه اندازی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4386||2013||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Available online 26 March 2013
Although entrepreneurship scholars highlight bootstrapping as a key resource acquisition approach to respond to the inherent resource constraints that nascent ventures face, little is known about what causes nascent ventures to engage in bootstrapping. Theory highlights the environment as an important determinant of bootstrapping activity. Analyzing bootstrapping behavior of 298 nascent ventures, we find that beyond perceived environmental factors, individual characteristics of the nascent entrepreneurs and factors relating to the embeddedness of the entrepreneurs in the environment determine their venture's bootstrapping behavior. In a more fine-grained analysis we gain insights into how these antecedents shape the use of particular bootstrapping strategies. Findings contribute to our understanding of factors driving resource management approaches in nascent ventures.
The entrepreneurship and strategic management literature stipulates that resource management is a key factor for initial survival and subsequent progress of organizations, especially in a context of environmental dynamism and resource scarcity (e.g., Brush et al., 2001 and Sirmon and Hitt, 2003). Purposeful resource management can optimize the way that resources are acquired, integrated, and deployed to cope with resource dependencies in a unique manner (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978 and Sirmon et al., 2007). Nascent firms in the process of establishing new means/end relationships in the marketplace are inherently confronted with a dynamic and resource scarce business context (Davidsson and Honig, 2003). During the turbulent phase of organizational emergence, most nascent firms have to overcome the initial lack of substantial managerial, financial, organizational, and physical resources, which is usually supplemented by the burden of lacking legitimacy in the eyes of important resource providers (Stinchcombe, 1965 and Wiklund et al., 2010). These circumstances limit the bargaining power of nascent firms, resulting in unfavorable resource dependencies (Ebben and Johnson, 2006, Packalen, 2007, Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978 and Stinchcombe, 1965). Therefore, confronted with an unfavorable point of departure for competing on the resource markets, nascent firms must attract, develop, and utilize – that is, manage – their resources in purposeful ways (e.g., Bhidé, 1992 and Brush et al., 2001). Despite the immediate relevance of resource management for the survival and subsequent growth of nascent ventures, little is known about adequate resource management approaches in this context. Nonetheless, the entrepreneurship literature introduced the concept of bootstrapping as an approach to mitigate resource dependencies (e.g., Freear et al., 1995 and Winborg and Landström, 2001). Reconciling the multitude of prior descriptions of the bootstrapping phenomenon, we view bootstrapping as an alternative resource management approach directed at avoiding market-based resource transactions (Ebben and Johnson, 2006, Harrison et al., 2004, Venkataraman, 2003 and Winborg and Landström, 2001). Hence, bootstrapping can enable nascent firms to pursue business opportunities, which go beyond means/end combinations, that would be achievable based on conventional market transactions. Main contributions in the bootstrapping literature relate to establishing typologies for bootstrapping activities (Freear et al., 1995 and Winborg and Landström, 2001). Some studies created an initial understanding concerning how the utilization of different bootstrapping methods changes over the organization's life cycle (Ebben and Johnson, 2006) and how it relates to a venture's growth (Vanacker et al., 2011). Extant scholarly work suggests that environmental and organizational antecedents explain bootstrapping activity (e.g., Ebben, 2009, Harrison et al., 2004 and Van Auken, 2005), as exemplified by initial findings that the utilization of bootstrapping methods decreases when ventures mature (Ebben and Johnson, 2006). This suggests that bootstrapping is an approach driven by environmental necessities, leaving little room for entrepreneurial agency. However, strategy focused entrepreneurship literature suggests that the entrepreneurs have an important role in determining a nascent firm's trajectory (Edelman and Yli-Renko, 2010 and Haynie et al., 2010). Hence, questions arise whether firms' bootstrapping activities are mere responses to environmental demands or if bootstrapping is used beyond environmental conditions as a conscious or unconscious, yet characteristic, approach that reflects the background of the founders. With the current study, we aim to contribute to the scholarly understanding of bootstrapping by scrutinizing how the founders' backgrounds shape bootstrapping activities in nascent firms. Therefore, this analysis follows prominent literature that sees nascent firms as extensions of their founders and entrepreneurs as the driving force of strategic decisions and actions in their firms (Chandler and Hanks, 1994). Our analysis offers three main contributions to the literature. First, we strive to contribute to a better understanding of the bootstrapping phenomenon. Theoretical arguments refer to bootstrapping as an innovative resource management activity in the earliest phases of firm development, but empirical analyses predominantly analyze bootstrapping in young or small incumbent firms. However, resource scarcity, resource dependence, and unfavorable terms of market resource exchange likely are most pronounced when the firm is not yet existent, and the fledging entrepreneur is struggling to establish the firm. Therefore, this study focuses specifically on bootstrapping activities deployed in nascent firms. By analyzing bootstrapping in nascent ventures, we seek a better understanding of associated resource management behaviors and its antecedents. By comparing different bootstrapping conceptions and measurements in diverging contexts, we further aim to establish a core understanding of the bootstrapping phenomenon and to depict its contextual dependence. Second, we evaluate specific environmental antecedents that affect bootstrapping behavior in the nascent venture context. Following resource dependency theory, we investigate the effects of the founders' perceived environmental munificence and their social capital. In particular, we add to extant literature by comparing the effects of strong and weak ties of entrepreneurs on bootstrapping behavior, which allows us to identify the type of resource access or lack thereof that thrusts nascent ventures into bootstrapping. In addition, we further explore whether the environmental munificence, as perceived by the founders, or rather more objective regional economic conditions affect the bootstrapping activities of the nascent firms. This analysis contributes to prior literature that found that the regional context is a salient predictor of bootstrapping behavior (Winborg and Landström, 2001). Third, while controlling for various environmental conditions and the founders' access to resources in their environment, we analyze the importance that founders' human capital plays in determining bootstrapping behavior. By scrutinizing the effects of the founders' background – such as their education and work experience – on their bootstrapping behavior, we can infer resulting individual cognitions4 that determine unique resource management approaches and subsequently shape the trajectory of the emerging firms (Boeker, 1987). Our research contributes to this line of research by fostering our understanding of entrepreneurial agency as a way to address resource constraints and achieve outcomes that might not be attainable using more traditional resource management approaches. Entrepreneurship theorists underline that the central function which entrepreneurs fulfill is in introducing new means/end combinations in the market place (Schumpeter, 1934). Our analysis depicts specific mechanisms of how entrepreneurs achieve ends with means that would not be achievable using conventional approaches. In other words, while the innovative, entrepreneurial resource management approach can be an outcome of entrepreneurial agency, our research also indicates that certain founders apply this approach in the process of developing new offerings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article intended to resolve a central ambiguity in the entrepreneurial bootstrapping literature concerning whether the bootstrapping phenomenon in nascent ventures could present an individualistic strategically driven resource management approach of entrepreneurs (e.g., Ebben, 2009). Therefore, we jointly scrutinized antecedents of entrepreneurs vis-à-vis environmental contingencies that arguably directly dictate the discretion for entrepreneurial actions (Adner and Helfat, 2003 and Edelman and Yli-Renko, 2010). We analyzed how an individual's background shapes the bootstrapping behavior at the firm level. Both levels are closely related as individual factors determine the firm related bootstrapping activities. As such, we believe that the entrepreneurship context offers a unique opportunity to depict the origins of firm level strategies. More specifically, we show entrepreneurs' backgrounds and founding contexts affect their ventures' financing (Ebbers and Wijnberg, 2012). We believe that this research design adds to the prominent literature on micro-foundations of strategy (e.g., Foss et al., 2008) and further positions financial bootstrapping behavior as a conscious or unconscious strategic choice of the founders. Our study revealed various novel insights. First, our results show that the use of bootstrapping strategies in nascent ventures is an individualistic choice of entrepreneurs beyond what a venture's environment dictates. This view challenges prior entrepreneurship literature, which has often implicitly framed bootstrapping as a reactionary activity of entrepreneurs mainly driven by a lack of market-based alternatives (e.g., Ebben, 2009 and Sapienza et al., 2003). Our findings support recent indications from the resource dependency literature, which suggest that entrepreneurs proactively seek alternative means for enacting their environment in order to mitigate resource dependencies (e.g., Katila et al., 2008). As such, our analysis supplements the recently developing literature stream that views entrepreneurs as agents who seek to overcome the bounded capacities of their ventures and avoid resource dependencies (Edelman and Yli-Renko, 2010 and Haynie et al., 2010). Next, we detail the new insights provided by our study regarding the distinct antecedents of bootstrapping activity before reaching at our final conclusion and the resulting theoretical and managerial implications. With regard to the contingency theory based explanation of bootstrapping activity, our study supports previous research that stressed consideration of factors such as environmental hostility when explaining entrepreneurial actions (Ebben and Johnson, 2006 and Nicholls-Nixon et al., 2000). As expected, ventures initiated in perceived hostile business environments or with insufficient access to external financial capital have a higher propensity of engaging in bootstrapping activities. This suggests that accessing resources through bootstrapping strategies supplements market-based resource acquisition strategies in nascent ventures. This finding aligns with recent literature stressing resource-based uncertainty stemming from financial constraints as a central trigger to entrepreneurial actions (e.g., Ebben, 2009 and Hoegl et al., 2008). Nonetheless, this finding raises questions about an optimal level of bootstrapping. Given that financial bootstrapping with credit cards, trade credits, and personal guarantees is rather expensive and causes high resource dependencies, too much bootstrapping might not be beneficial. Further, relying on shared resources might imply working with resources that are not optimally suited for the venture. An inverse U-shaped performance effect might result because benefits are increasingly counteracted by augmenting capital and agency costs of bootstrapping. Beyond perceived environmental factors, characteristics associated with the entrepreneur can predict bootstrapping activity. We discover interesting findings regarding the social capital of nascent entrepreneurs. Nascent entrepreneurs draw especially on their weak tie network for bootstrapping activities, but not on their strong tie network. Hence, our result supplements and nuances previous research stating that nascent entrepreneurs with more contacts are more likely to launch and successfully establish new ventures (De Carolis et al., 2009). The finding that bootstrapping entrepreneurs prefer not to draw on resources from their close circle might be explained by two complementary mechanisms. First, as interpersonal relationships in strong tie networks do not originate from business related matters, entrepreneurs might refrain from leveraging contacts from their strong tie network. The use of resources obtained from strong ties could create a dilemma; either entrepreneurs refrain from investing in risky assets in order to preserve these resources and thereby might not be able to seize promising opportunities, or they invest in risky activities that might carry a risk of personal conflicts at some point if the resources are lost (Hanlon and Saunders, 2007). Considering this conundrum, our findings suggest that bootstrapping entrepreneurs prefer to protect the affect-based trust of their close ties by not exposing their relationships to this conflict potential. Instead, they appear to favor aiming for resources from their weak tie network. In addition, the observed absence of bootstrapping from strong ties might be due to a simple lack of relevant resources in their immediate environment. For example, entrepreneurs' strong ties might lack relevant target customers, supplier connections, or adequate monetary means to support a risky venture. In contrast, weak tie networks are broader and more extensive in scope and, hence, can be more likely to link to the relevant business community and enable access to a greater resource base. Thus, the probability is higher that these weak ties can provide valuable resources more often. In consequence, as evidenced by our findings, we are more likely to observe that the nascent entrepreneurs acquire resources from weak ties than from strong ties. Clearly, a more detailed examination of the resource acquisition strategies of nascent entrepreneurs regarding strong and weak ties is needed in future research. However, our finding that weak and strong ties have different effects on bootstrapping is important in itself, given the vibrant debate on the value of weak and strong tie networks for nascent entrepreneurs (e.g., Davidsson and Honig, 2003 and Hoang and Antoncic, 2003). Our findings support further evidence for the relevance of considering the relational dimension of nascent entrepreneurs' social capital for explaining their managerial actions (Chua et al., 2008 and McAllister, 1995). Finally, we find that nascent entrepreneurs with greater levels of human capital in different areas employ more bootstrapping activities. Entrepreneurs with managerial experience and those who have pursued higher levels of academic education or specific business training engage in bootstrapping to a greater extent. This shows that both specific direct experiences and education can affect bootstrapping. However, surprisingly, we do not discover any impact of prior entrepreneurial experience. It appears that with regard to preferences and abilities to engage in bootstrapping or engage in alternative resource acquisition approaches, entrepreneurial experience does not have a strong impact. We conjecture that although bootstrapping abilities should increase with experience, other resource acquisition abilities should also do so. Moreover, the preference structure of experienced entrepreneurs might not be favoring bootstrapping. However, to draw more specific conclusions, future research needs to isolate the effects of these different dimensions. To conclude, the central finding of our study is that nascent ventures not only engage more in bootstrapping activities in hostile environments, but also when the entrepreneurs have higher levels of social and human capital. This aligns with recent insights from the entrepreneurship literature implying that bootstrapping is not a matter of last resort (Winborg, 2009). Nascent ventures' bootstrapping activities are largely a result of the entrepreneurs' individualistic backgrounds. Our conclusion advocates that entrepreneurs have decisive influence on the destiny of their nascent ventures and should be placed center stage in the strategy-formulation process in which bootstrapping appears to play a central role (Foss et al., 2008 and Holcomb et al., 2009).