Abstract Which entrepreneurial firms exit by merger or sale, and which exit by closing? We draw on resource dependence theory in order to explore how new venture dependencies on the founder and industry affect the type of firm exit. While previous researchers have concluded that early stage firms rely on the human capital of the entrepreneur to survive and thrive, we suggest that certain dependencies can act as barriers to exit through a merger or a sale. Likewise, we suggest that industries that are low tech and industries that experience high firm turnover create dependencies on the local market, and exit is less likely by a sale or a merger. We test our model using binary logistic regression on a 2012 sample from the Kauffman Firm Survey of 451 firms founded in 2004. We find that firms that are operated as sole proprietorships and firms that are operated out of the primary owner’s home are significantly, negatively related to exit by a merger or a sale. Firms operating in high-tech industries are significantly, positively related to exit by a merger or a sale. These findings hold even when controlling for the size, performance, and competitive advantage of the exiting firms. Our findings offer preliminary evidence that resource dependencies affect exit outcomes.
Entrepreneurship Research Journal – de Gruyter
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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