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The age-effect of financial indicators as buffers against the liability of newness

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  • Wiklund, Johan
  • Baker, Ted
  • Shepherd, Dean

Abstract

This paper builds on the liabilities of newness literature to suggest that accounting information is important for new firms. Using a sample of over 30,000 companies followed during their first 7Â years of existence, we find evidence that financial indicators mitigate the liability of newness and that this buffering effect is stronger the younger the organization. These results represent three primary contributions to the literature. First, our conceptualization of accounting measures as indicators of external (creditworthiness enhancing legitimacy) as well as internal (targets for management) buffers to the liabilities of newness provides a novel way of viewing these constructs and explains why they are important to new firms despite their uncertainty and opacity. Second, we theoretically justify and empirically validate that these constructs are more important the younger the new firm is, which runs counter to the common wisdom of these constructs in the entrepreneurship literature. Third, we identify buffers against failure for new firms that are generalizable across industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiklund, Johan & Baker, Ted & Shepherd, Dean, 2010. "The age-effect of financial indicators as buffers against the liability of newness," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 423-437, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:4:p:423-437
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Fisher, Greg & Kuratko, Donald F. & Bloodgood, James M. & Hornsby, Jeffrey S., 2017. "Legitimate to whom? The challenge of audience diversity and new venture legitimacy," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71.
    5. Grichnik, Dietmar & Brinckmann, Jan & Singh, Luv & Manigart, Sophie, 2014. "Beyond environmental scarcity: Human and social capital as driving forces of bootstrapping activities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 310-326.
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    7. Florian Überbacher, 2014. "Legitimation of New Ventures: A Review and Research Programme," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 667-698, June.
    8. En Xie & Yuanyuan Huang & Hao Shen & Yu Li, 2017. "Performance implications of ties to large-scale state-owned enterprises and banks in an emerging economy," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 97-121, March.
    9. Alex Coad & Julian S. Frankish & Richard G. Roberts & David J. Storey, 2016. "Predicting new venture survival and growth: Does the fog lift?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 217-241, June.
    10. van Werven, Ruben & Bouwmeester, Onno & Cornelissen, Joep P., 2015. "The power of arguments: How entrepreneurs convince stakeholders of the legitimate distinctiveness of their ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 616-631.
    11. Wafa N. Almobaireek & Ahmed A. Alshumaimeri & Tatiana S. Manolova, 2016. "Building entrepreneurial inter-firm networks in an emerging economy: the role of cognitive legitimacy," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 87-114, March.
    12. Vinit Parida & Tom Lahti & Joakim Wincent, 2016. "Exploration and exploitation and firm performance variability: a study of ambidexterity in entrepreneurial firms," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 1147-1164, December.
    13. Yang, Tiantian & Aldrich, Howard E., 2012. "Out of sight but not out of mind: Why failure to account for left truncation biases research on failure rates," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 477-492.
    14. Anderson, Brian S. & Eshima, Yoshihiro, 2013. "The influence of firm age and intangible resources on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm growth among Japanese SMEs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 413-429.
    15. T. Vanacker & S. Manigart & M. Meuleman & L. Sels, 2011. "Bootstrapping as a Resource Dependence Management Strategy and its Association with Startup Growth," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/740, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    16. Wennberg, Karl & Delmar, Frédéric & McKelvie, Alexander, 2016. "Variable risk preferences in new firm growth and survival," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 408-427.
    17. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-016-0292-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Hai Guo & Jintong Tang & Zhongfeng Su, 2014. "To be different, or to be the same? The interactive effect of organizational regulatory legitimacy and entrepreneurial orientation on new venture performance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 665-685, September.
    19. Colin C. Williams & Alvaro Martinez-Perez, 2016. "Evaluating the impacts of corruption on firm performance in developing economies: an institutional perspective," International Journal of Business and Globalisation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 16(4), pages 401-422.

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