Startup Experience and the Mobilization of Human Capital Resources in New Ventures

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Human capital resources are a foundation of organizational performance, yet highly difficult to mobilize in new ventures. Given the central role of founders’ past experiences in new venture strategy formation, we investigate whether and how their prior startup experience influences employee mobilization, depending on the outcomes of earlier endeavors. Integrating behavioral theories of the firm with regulatory focus theory, we suggest that serial founders who failed earlier are more likely to be prevention oriented and change their employee mobilization strategies towards a more targeted hiring approach. Using Danish register data, we compare the employee sourcing practices of a sample of serial entrepreneurs to a control group of novice founders who later engage in serial venturing. We find suggestive evidence of trial-and-error learning in hiring strategies among serial entrepreneurs who have discontinued previous ventures. Alternative mechanisms such as selection effects, stigma of failure, and demand-side constraints, are also tested but not empirically supported.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonia Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021: Bringing the Manager Back in Management - Online, Virtual, Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20214 Aug 2021
Conference number: 81


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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