IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v45y2016i5p1014-1030.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How the founders’ general and specific human capital drives export activities of start-ups

Author

Listed:
  • Stucki, Tobias

Abstract

At first glance, a typical start-up does not seem to have the required capabilities to enter foreign markets. Nevertheless, 26% of the firms of a representative sample of Swiss start-ups already perform export activities three years after their foundation, and the firms with export activities generate 39% of their sales abroad on average. Previous studies identified the founders’ human capital as an important driver of early internationalization. In this paper, however, we find that differences exist in the effect of the founders’ general and specific human capital. While the founders’ general human capital affects both export propensity and intensity, their export-specific experience only affects export propensity but not intensity. Furthermore, we find evidence that the effect of general human capital is more persistent than the effect of specific human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Stucki, Tobias, 2016. "How the founders’ general and specific human capital drives export activities of start-ups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1014-1030.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:5:p:1014-1030
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.02.010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733316300233
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Task-Specific Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 203-207, May.
    2. Mike Wright & Paul Westhead & Deniz Ucbasaran, 2007. "Internationalization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and International Entrepreneurship: A Critique and Policy Implications," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 1013-1030.
    3. Lenn Gomes & Kannan Ramaswamy, 1999. "An Empirical Examination of the Form of the Relationship Between Multinationality and Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(1), pages 173-187, March.
    4. Deniz Ucbasaran & Paul Westhead & Mike Wright, 2008. "Opportunity Identification and Pursuit: Does an Entrepreneur’s Human Capital Matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 153-173, February.
    5. Jones, Marian V. & Coviello, Nicole & Tang, Yee Kwan, 2011. "International Entrepreneurship research (1989–2009): A domain ontology and thematic analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 632-659.
    6. Chandler, Gaylen N. & Jansen, Erik, 1992. "The founder's self-assessed competence and venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 223-236, May.
    7. Gary A Knight & S Tamar Cavusgil, 2004. "Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(2), pages 124-141, March.
    8. Colombo, Massimo G. & Grilli, Luca, 2005. "Founders' human capital and the growth of new technology-based firms: A competence-based view," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 795-816, August.
    9. Vincent L. Barker , III & George C. Mueller, 2002. "CEO Characteristics and Firm R&D Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(6), pages 782-801, June.
    10. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    11. Andrea Bonaccorsi, 1992. "On the Relationship Between Firm Size and Export Intensity," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(4), pages 605-635, December.
    12. Marian V Jones & Nicole E Coviello, 2005. "Internationalisation: conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(3), pages 284-303, May.
    13. Stan D Reid, 1981. "The Decision-Maker and Export Entry and Expansion," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 12(2), pages 101-112, June.
    14. Brendan J Gray, 1997. "Profiling Managers to Improve Export Promotion Targeting," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 28(2), pages 387-420, June.
    15. Gimmon, Eli & Levie, Jonathan, 2010. "Founder's human capital, external investment, and the survival of new high-technology ventures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1214-1226, November.
    16. Marco Gelderen & Roy Thurik & Niels Bosma, 2006. "Success and Risk Factors in the Pre-Startup Phase," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 319-335, May.
    17. Hsu, David H., 2007. "Experienced entrepreneurial founders, organizational capital, and venture capital funding," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 722-741, June.
    18. Majocchi, Antonio & Bacchiocchi, Emanuele & Mayrhofer, Ulrike, 2005. "Firm size, business experience and export intensity in SMEs: A longitudinal approach to complex relationships," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 719-738, December.
    19. Villar, Cristina & Alegre, Joaquín & Pla-Barber, José, 2014. "Exploring the role of knowledge management practices on exports: A dynamic capabilities view," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 38-44.
    20. A Rebecca Reuber & Eileen Fischer, 1997. "The Influence of the Management Team’s International Experience on the Internationalization Behaviors of SMES," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 28(4), pages 807-825, December.
    21. Gary A Knight & S Tamer Cavusgil, 2004. "Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(4), pages 334-334, July.
    22. A. Gourlay & J. Seaton, 2004. "Explaining the decision to export: evidence from UK firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 153-158.
    23. Zucker, Lynne G. & Darby, Michael R. & Furner, Jonathan & Liu, Robert C. & Ma, Hongyan, 2007. "Minerva unbound: Knowledge stocks, knowledge flows and new knowledge production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 850-863, July.
    24. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
    25. D’Este, Pablo & Iammarino, Simona & Savona, Maria & von Tunzelmann, Nick, 2012. "What hampers innovation? Revealed barriers versus deterring barriers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 482-488.
    26. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2012. "What determines the innovation capability of firm founders?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 1049-1084, August.
    27. Dimov, Dimo P. & Shepherd, Dean A., 2005. "Human capital theory and venture capital firms: exploring "home runs" and "strike outs"," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-21, January.
    28. Andrea Calabrò & Donata Mussolino, 2013. "How do boards of directors contribute to family SME export intensity? The role of formal and informal governance mechanisms," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(2), pages 363-403, May.
    29. Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike & Ucbasaran, Deniz, 2001. "The internationalization of new and small firms: A resource-based view," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 333-358, July.
    30. Rialp, Alex & Rialp, Josep & Knight, Gary A., 2005. "The phenomenon of early internationalizing firms: what do we know after a decade (1993-2003) of scientific inquiry?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-166, April.
    31. Crick, Dave, 2004. "U.K. SMEs' decision to discontinue exporting: an exploratory investigation into practices within the clothing industry," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 561-587, July.
    32. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
    33. Ernst Verwaal & Bas Donkers, 2002. "Firm Size and Export Intensity: Solving an Empirical Puzzle," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(3), pages 603-613, September.
    34. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
    35. Panagiotis Ganotakis & James H Love, 2012. "Export propensity, export intensity and firm performance: The role of the entrepreneurial founding team," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 43(8), pages 693-718, October.
    36. Shaker A Zahra, 2005. "A theory of international new ventures: a decade of research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(1), pages 20-28, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jmgtgv:v:22:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10997-017-9389-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Masatoshi Kato, 2017. "Founders’ human capital and external knowledge sourcing: An absorptive capacity perspective for innovative start-ups," Discussion Paper Series 162, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Export; Start-up; Founder characteristics; Human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:5:p:1014-1030. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.