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Entrepreneurial Teams  

Nicola Breugst

Entrepreneurial teams develop and exploit ideas in order to turn them into entrepreneurial ventures that they jointly own and manage. While these teams are crucial drivers for the success of their ventures, their work can be challenging because they operate under conditions of high autonomy, uncertainty, and interdependence. Thus, it is important to understand how entrepreneurial teams work together and jointly advance their ventures. Research has followed three overarching approaches to explore how entrepreneurial teams can succeed in their endeavors. First, one stream of research has aimed at connecting team inputs, such as team members’ experiences, to firm-level outcomes. In a second stream of research, scholars have focused on what happens within entrepreneurial teams in terms of team processes and emergent states. This approach has identified various mechanisms that translate inputs into outcomes. Third, an increasing number of studies have started to unravel the complexities that entrepreneurial teams experience in their work. Specifically, this research has considered the mutual influence of team members and has explored how teams work on their tasks and are shaped by this work. Despite these advancements, entrepreneurial team research faces numerous challenges arising from the complex interplay of team members and their ventures as well as from access to high-quality data. Because of these and other challenges, many research questions around entrepreneurial teams still need to be addressed to better understand their work. These emerging research efforts are likely to be facilitated by additional data sources, such as educational programs devoted to advancing entrepreneurial teams and modern technologies promising better access to rich data. Overall, entrepreneurial team research not only contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the entrepreneurial process but also provides support for these teams as they create and nurture their ventures.

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Socioemotional Aspects of Entrepreneurship for the Classroom  

Alexander Bolinger and Mark Bolinger

There is currently great enthusiasm for entrepreneurship education and the economic benefits that entrepreneurial activity can generate for individuals, organizations, and communities. Beyond economic outcomes, however, there is a variety of social and emotional costs and benefits of engaging in entrepreneurship that may not be evident to students nor emphasized in entrepreneurship courses. The socioemotional costs of entrepreneurship are consequential: on the one hand, entrepreneurs who pour their time and energy into new ventures can incur costs (e.g., ruptured personal and professional relationships, decreased life satisfaction and well-being, or strong negative reactions such as grief) that can often be as or more personally disruptive and enduring than economic costs. On the other hand, the social and emotional benefits of an entrepreneurial lifestyle are often cited as intrinsically satisfying and as primary motivations for initiating and sustaining entrepreneurial activity. The socioemotional aspects of entrepreneurship are often poorly understood by students, but highlighting these hidden dimensions of entrepreneurial activity can inform their understanding and actions as prospective entrepreneurs. For instance, entrepreneurial passion, the experience of positive emotions as a function of engaging in activities that fulfill one’s entrepreneurial identity, and social capital, whereby entrepreneurs build meaningful relationships with co-owners, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, are two specific socioemotional benefits of entrepreneurship. There are also several potential socioemotional costs of entrepreneurial activity. For instance, entrepreneurship can involve negative emotional responses such as grief and lost identity from failure. Even when an entrepreneur does not fail, the stress of entrepreneurial activity can lead to sleep deprivation and disruptions to both personal and professional connections. Then, entrepreneurs can identify so closely and feel so invested that they experience counterproductive forms of obsessive passion that consume their identities and impair their well-being.