Decomposing Profile-to-role Configurations in R&D-focused Entrepreneurial Teams

Anna Scedrova*, Robert E. Morgan, Luigi M. De Luca

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We draw on social categorization theory to explain how entrepreneurial teams focused on research and development (R&D) are configured to deliver successful new venture performance. Research on entrepreneurial teams tends to aggregate individuals to the team level, which helps distill the effects of complementarities among social categories of team members. Specifically, we examine how scientists and managers apply their unique profiles (i.e., accumulated skills and expertise) to execute their respective roles within entrepreneurial teams engaged in commercial scientific discovery. In line with the entrepreneurial team literature, we distinguish between “focused” and “diversified” social categorizations of principal scientists and managers. As such, we differentiate between individuals’ deep knowledge of a discipline and a background in two professional areas with relative expertise in each, likened to the “jack-of-all-trades”. We analyze how team profile-to-role configurations might result in different new venture outcomes being R&D performance and commercial performance. To examine our models, we use multi-source, longitudinal, secondary data drawn from 153 government-funded research-intensive ventures associated with the National Cancer Institute in the United States (U.S.). Our results reveal differential effects for R&D performance and commercial performance. We find that teams aiming to enhance their R&D performance should seek diversified principal scientists, whereas teams seeking commercial gains should appoint diversified managers. By the same token, diversified team members may bypass their own shortcomings and complement their strengths by attracting team members with focused social categorizations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Number of pages11
ISSN0263-2373
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 21 April 2023

Keywords

  • Social categorization theory
  • Human capital
  • Entrepreneurial teams
  • R&D performance
  • Commercial performance
  • New ventures
  • Public value
  • Publicly funded ventures

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