Theses/Dissertations - Entrepreneurship

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    Online maker communities : developing the capabilities of aspiring entrepreneurs for new economic realities.
    (August 2022) Miller, William Gordon, 1991-; Klein, Peter G.
    The explosion of innovative and entrepreneurial energy over the last few decades highlights the influence of new digital technologies, especially in the context of user innovation and entrepreneurship. Indeed, numerous works document the salience of this activity in products such as digital audio workstations, ecommerce, and video game modification. This dissertation seeks to develop this research in terms of online maker communities (OMCs) and how they function to help aspiring entrepreneurs build their personal entrepreneurial intelligence. For empirical context, the dissertation explores the world of video games. Chapter One provides an overview and literature review. Chapter Two uses causal inference techniques to consider the effect of video game modding communities on the games in which they innovate. Chapter Three defines and develops the construct of entrepreneurial intelligence (ENTQ) as well as builds theory around how OMCs facilitate its development. Chapter Four provides exploratory evidence of the effect of OMCs in the new world of Dreams, a hybrid game and development engine released for Sony Playstation consoles in February 2020. Chapter Five concludes.
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    The imprinted imagination : an investigation of the entrepreneurial ecosystem’s influence in the new venture ideation process.
    (August 2022) Brown, Austin R., 1994-; Wood, Matthew S.
    This dissertation takes steps to unpack how the composition of entrepreneurial ecosystems interacts with individual-level attributes to influence the entrepreneur’s ideation process. We introduce a novel taxonomy of ecosystem actors and then theorize how variation in two novel constructs, ecosystem focus and coherence, interact with imaginative abilities and personal traits to drive variation in new venture idea feasibility and originality. A verbal protocol experiment is conducted, capturing 172 ideations by 32 nascent and active entrepreneurs. While statistical support is not found for relationships between focus, coherence, feasibility, and originality, we find qualitative evidence suggesting that ecosystems imprint both in the ideation process and the resulting new venture ideas. Our findings shed light on unresolved theoretical voids, contribute to ongoing discussions about ecosystem diversity, and offer useful insights and tools to both entrepreneurs and ecosystem managers.
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    Examining stakeholder management under conditions of uncertainty : performance implications for entrepreneurial firms.
    (2022-04-27) Maldonado-Bautista, Ileana, 1985-; Artz, Kendall.
    Stakeholder groups (i.e., employees, customers, investors, local communities, and the environment at large) are key ingredients in the success of firms. Stakeholders can be affected by firm decisions and have a powerful, central role in the financial performance of corporations. However, when firms are in their early stages, attention to multiple stakeholder groups can harm the value of the entrepreneurial firm. Throughout my three-paper dissertation, I examine the role of stakeholder management and its implications for entrepreneurial firms. The paper #1 with data on US firms that underwent initial public offerings (IPOs) (N = 3,840 firm-year observations), I found that entrepreneurial firms investing in employees and customers stakeholders achieve higher performance, but not when invest in other stakeholders (investors, communities, and environment). In paper #2 with data on 349 founders who maintained the CEO position, I found that ideological liberal founders tend to invest more in all stakeholder groups, as opposed to ideological conservative founders—despite the recent financial performance of the firm. In paper #3 with data on 652 startups, I found that the stakeholder orientation of the firm is associated with higher investor funding. In sum, this dissertation explain links between stakeholder theory and entrepreneurship, and discusses key implications and applications.
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    Entrepreneurship in the public interest : varieties, effects, and the performance of entrepreneurial arrangements.
    (2020-07-09) Carvalho da Mota, Eric Gustavo, 1981-; Klein, Peter G.
    In this dissertation I present three self-contained research papers that examine entrepreneurial efforts to advance the public interest. In the first paper I introduce a novel class of effects caused by digital technology to account for how it expands, maintains, or reduces the influence of governments over citizens. I submit that this class of effects comprises intrusive, unintrusive, and extrusive effects, and distinguish them by the extent to which they shift the influence of governments on social life. In the second paper I examine under which conditions public labs can achieve high performance in pharmaceutical research for neglected diseases. I employ a configurational approach to analyze 195 research projects conducted in 63 public labs in Brazil, a country in which neglected diseases make up the majority of the disease burden. In the third paper I examine capability creation in an ethnographic assessment of cooperation between a leading biopharmaceutical enterprise and its public partners over the course of three years. I develop a comprehensive model of capability creation comprising three generative mechanisms—what I call asymmetries, overflows, and redeployments—and show how each implies different origins and different paces of development. All three papers illustrate how theories, constructs, and models from the entrepreneurship literature can inform key issues of public policy and public well-being.
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    Intermediation and disintermediation of resources for entrepreneurship and innovation in the maker movement.
    (2020-07-12) Browder, Russell E., 1978-; Klein, Peter G.
    The maker movement phenomenon represents potential disintermediation of producer innovation as well as intermediation of creative processes for entrepreneurs and innovators. This dissertation introduces the maker movement phenomenon and its relevance for research on entrepreneurship and innovation. I discuss how, through shared access to tools and digital fabrication technologies, makers can act as producers in the sharing economy and potentially increase entrepreneurship rates, catalyze advanced manufacturing, and spur economic development. I develop a model of the maker movement configured around social exchange, technology resources, and knowledge creation and sharing. Through a multiple case study design, I build a theoretical understanding of the conditions and mechanisms underlying physical maker spaces as collective resource systems that can lead to value capture and creation. I distinguish between selection and treatment effects by delineating the role of maker spaces for productivity intermediation and creativity intermediation through the interactions of their physical, social and knowledge resources.
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    Toward a process view of entrepreneurial action : an empirical investigation of activities, mechanisms and outcomes.
    (2020-07-15) Long, Anna J., 1988-; Wood, Matthew S.
    Entrepreneurial action is of keen interest to entrepreneurship scholars, and research on the topic centers on studying the different dynamics of entrepreneurial action as the underlying mechanism for engagement in the entrepreneurial process. This dissertation seeks to understand the underlying mechanism of enterprising activities in the formation process of entrepreneurial action. Building on the existing opportunity evaluation literature, I theorize a process framework with the argument that the event-based enterprising activities and the formation of entrepreneurial action processes are interrelated. With that, the process of entrepreneurial action formation consists of many types of enterprising activities, and over time, these enterprising activities accumulate into the market entry as an entrepreneurial action outcome. I test the theoretical framework in two studies. In the first study, I use a Kauffman Firm Survey, eight years of longitudinal data to test the direct effect of each type of activity, and the moderation effect of venture age on the likelihood of market entry as a proxy for the outcome of entrepreneurial action process. In the second study, using the concept regulatory focus, I study the cognitive mechanism of the entrepreneurial action and use a free-choice experiment to further explore the underlying cognitive mechanism that drives one’s choice for enterprising activities, and validate the causal relationship between enterprising activities and market entry as a proxy for entrepreneurial action outcome.