Start-Up Teams: A Multidimensional Conceptualization, Integrative Review of Past Research, and Future Research Agenda

Knight, A. P., Greer, L. L., & de Jong, B. (2020). Start-up teams: A multidimensional conceptualization, integrative review of past research, and future research agenda. Academy of Management Annals, 14, 231-266.

Abstract. Academic interest in start-up teams has grown dramatically over the past 40 years, with researchers from a wide variety of disciplines actively studying the topic. Although this widespread interest is encouraging, a review of the literature reveals a lack of consensus in how researchers conceptualize and operationally define start-up teams. A lack of consensus on the core phenomenon—a foundational part of a strong paradigm—has stifled the systematic advancement of knowledge about start-up teams, which has downstream implications for the viability of this field of research. To advance the development of a stronger paradigm, we present a multidimensional conceptualization of start-up teams that is derived from points of consensus in existing definitions. Our multidimensional conceptualization accounts for the fact that, although all are under the umbrella of the concept of “start-up team,” start-up teams vary in a set of key ingredients—ownership of equity, autonomy of strategic decision-making, and entitativity. This conceptualization serves as a framework for reviewing and beginning to integrate past research on start-up teams. It also serves as a framework for guiding and informing an integrated program of future research on start-up teams. By introducing a multidimensional conceptualization of start-up teams, we highlight the value of considering the defining ingredients of start-up teams for furthering a stronger paradigm.

Resources and relationships in entrepreneurship

Huang, L., & Knight, A. P. (2017). Resources and relationships in entrepreneurship: An exchange theory of the development and effects of the entrepreneur-investor relationship. Academy of Management Review, 42, 80-102.

Abstract. We develop a theoretical model, grounded in exchange theory, about the process through which relationships between entrepreneurs and investors develop and influence the growth of new ventures. Our theory highlights the multifaceted relationships that entrepreneurs and investors share—comprising both affective and instrumental dimensions—and the bidirectional exchanges of social and financial resources that build these relationships over time. An exchange theory perspective sheds light on the emergence of different patterns of relationship development over time and how different kinds of resource exchange contribute to new venture growth, contingent on the core problems that a venture faces at a given stage of development. We discuss implications of an exchange perspective on resources and relationships in entrepreneurship for theory, research, and practice.