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Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship

  • Ramana Nanda

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

  • Jesper B. Sørensen

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

We examine whether the likelihood of entrepreneurial activity is related to the prior career experiences of an individual's coworkers, using a unique matched employer-employee panel data set. We argue that coworkers can increase the likelihood that an individual will perceive entrepreneurial opportunities as well as increase his or her motivation to pursue those opportunities. We find that an individual is more likely to become an entrepreneur if his or her coworkers have been entrepreneurs before. Peer influences also appear to be substitutes for other sources of entrepreneurial influence: we find that peer influences are strongest for those who have less exposure to entrepreneurship in other aspects of their lives.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1179
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1116-1126

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:7:p:1116-1126
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  1. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischmann & James B. Rebitzer, 2005. "Job Hopping in Silicon Valley: Some Evidence Concerning the Micro-Foundations of a High Technology Cluster," NBER Working Papers 11710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Scott Shane & Rakesh Khurana, 2003. "Bringing individuals back in: the effects of career experience on new firm founding," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 519-543, June.
  3. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  4. Mariassunta Giannetti & Andrei Simonov, 2009. "Social Interactions and Entrepreneurial Activity," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 665-709, 09.
  5. Parker, Simon C, 2009. "Why do small firms produce the entrepreneurs?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 484-494, June.
  6. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  7. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Barton H. Hamilton & Todd R. Zenger, 2010. "The Small Firm Effect and the Entrepreneurial Spawning of Scientists and Engineers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 659-681, April.
  8. Carroll, Glenn R. & Mosakowski, Elaine M., 1987. "The Career Dynamics of Self-Employment," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt13p1n10b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  9. Nicos Nicolaou & Scott Shane & Lynn Cherkas & Janice Hunkin & Tim D. Spector, 2008. "Is the Tendency to Engage in Entrepreneurship Genetic?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 167-179, January.
  10. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Are Young and Small Firms Hothouses for Nascent Entrepreneurs? Evidence from German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Klepper, Steven, 2001. "Employee Startups in High-Tech Industries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 639-74, September.
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