The Effect of Experience and Prior Knowledge on Scientific Entrepreneurship

Gabriele Luca Lazzati

Student thesis: Master thesis


Many studies tried to explain what entrepreneurs should do in order to succeed but failure rate of startup is still very high. What if the how is just as important? The dissertation want to investigate whether decision making of entrepreneurs can be ameliorated by instilling a scientist-like mindset. The work seeks to answer the question: to what degree industry experience and prior humanities studies may impact the learning path of the scientific method for entrepreneurship? The main idea behind this research is to identify some variables that affect decision making ability. In the first section of the text, the author describes the importance of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic growth and attention is devoted to previous researches that have been made on the impact of industry experience and prior knowledge in entrepreneurship to identify pros and cons of those works. Subsequently, tailored entrepreneurship methods are explained in detail with a focus on scientific entrepreneurship which is considered the most fitting method by the author for the purpose of this research. By using the scientific approach to entrepreneurship as the backbone of the text, the methodology and the research design are constructed. The author uses panel regression to assess the impact of industry experience and prior knowledge in humanities studies in dealing with a scientific method for entrepreneurs. The paper continues with tests of panel data previously collected in a randomizedcontrol trial sample of 266 startups from various Italian cities. The results confirm that there exists a positive and significant correlation between industry experience and scientific entrepreneurship while it cannot draw out the same conclusion for prior knowledge. It is hoped this study will inform managers, practitioners and potential entrepreneurs about startups’ practices for better understanding the effect of background knowledge and experience while learning and/or teaching a new scientific method for entrepreneurs. It is critical to enhance decision making ability otherwise artificial intelligence and automation will eventually substitute managers. In addition, another potential field of enquiry is to improve screening activity of candidates in human resource management with the implementation of a more scientific approach.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages69