Skill heterogeneity in startups and its development over time

Skill heterogeneity in startups and its development over time We study how startup teams are assembled in terms of team member human capital characteristics. To this end, we derive a statistically motivated benchmark for new venture team heterogeneity in terms of observed team member characteristics to generate stylized facts about team member diversity at startup and how it evolves as the new venture matures. We use the population of Danish startups that were established in 1998 and track them until 2001. Main findings are that teams are relatively more homogeneous at startup compared to our benchmark, indicating that difficulties associated with workforce heterogeneity (like affective conflict or coordination cost) as well as “homophily” (people’s inclination to bound with others with similar characteristics) may overweigh the benefits of heterogeneity. While workforce heterogeneity does increase over time, the increase is smaller compared to our benchmark but substantially larger than if team additions and replacements had the same characteristics as the initial team members. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Skill heterogeneity in startups and its development over time

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-015-9667-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We study how startup teams are assembled in terms of team member human capital characteristics. To this end, we derive a statistically motivated benchmark for new venture team heterogeneity in terms of observed team member characteristics to generate stylized facts about team member diversity at startup and how it evolves as the new venture matures. We use the population of Danish startups that were established in 1998 and track them until 2001. Main findings are that teams are relatively more homogeneous at startup compared to our benchmark, indicating that difficulties associated with workforce heterogeneity (like affective conflict or coordination cost) as well as “homophily” (people’s inclination to bound with others with similar characteristics) may overweigh the benefits of heterogeneity. While workforce heterogeneity does increase over time, the increase is smaller compared to our benchmark but substantially larger than if team additions and replacements had the same characteristics as the initial team members.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 4, 2015

References

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