Outside Board Members in High Tech Start-ups

Outside Board Members in High Tech Start-ups Board composition in large organizations has been subject to much empirical research, however, little attention has been focused on board composition in start-ups, and more specifically high tech start-ups. This lack of research is surprising given that many high tech start-ups have multiple equity stakeholders such as venture capitalists or public research organizations, such as universities. Given that high tech start-ups are commonly resource-poor these external stakeholders may play an important role in accessing critical external resources. Drawing on agency theory, resource dependence theory and social network theory we examine the tensions that exist between the founding team and external equity stakeholders in determining the presence of outside board members. In particular we focus on whether or not the outside board members have either complementary or substitute human capital to the founding team. We test our model on a sample of 140 high tech start-ups in Flanders. Our results indicate that high tech start-ups with a public research organization as an external equity stakeholder are more likely to develop boards with outside board members with complementary skills to the founding team. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Outside Board Members in High Tech Start-ups

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-006-9033-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Board composition in large organizations has been subject to much empirical research, however, little attention has been focused on board composition in start-ups, and more specifically high tech start-ups. This lack of research is surprising given that many high tech start-ups have multiple equity stakeholders such as venture capitalists or public research organizations, such as universities. Given that high tech start-ups are commonly resource-poor these external stakeholders may play an important role in accessing critical external resources. Drawing on agency theory, resource dependence theory and social network theory we examine the tensions that exist between the founding team and external equity stakeholders in determining the presence of outside board members. In particular we focus on whether or not the outside board members have either complementary or substitute human capital to the founding team. We test our model on a sample of 140 high tech start-ups in Flanders. Our results indicate that high tech start-ups with a public research organization as an external equity stakeholder are more likely to develop boards with outside board members with complementary skills to the founding team.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 3, 2007

References

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