Personality Composition, Team Behavior, and Startup Performance: An Empirical Study of the Association between Personality Composition, Team Behavior, and Performance in Startup Teams

Kristine Holst Riis

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Startups are essential drivers of economic growth and innovation. However, only a few startups survive its first years and even fewer grow into big corporations. Despite popular stories about the sole entrepreneur, the majority of startups are founded by teams. Therefore, we must take a closer look at the startup team and its members, when investigating startup performance. This thesis aims to nuance the understanding of the underlying team processes facilitating startup performance. The empirical study of 49 startups examines how personality composition in startup teams is associated with startup performance, introducing team behaviors as potential mediating mechanisms. I find significant indications that both result orientation behavior and innovation orientation behavior contribute to startup performance, hence validating the assumption in startup literature, that startup success requires effective task completion as well as innovative thinking. Furthermore, the study shows that personality composition influences result orientation behavior, however it does not influence innovation orientation behavior. Lastly, mediating effects of result orientation behavior on the relationship between the personality trait conscientiousness and startup performance are identified (significance level of 10%). The study provides policy implications for incubators and accelerators who offer support for startups. These institutions must be aware of the importance of personality composition and team-level mechanisms to startup performance, and provide assistance in team formation and development. Moreover, my findings provide implications for entrepreneurs in the selection of new team members.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages92
SupervisorsVera Rocha