What Do I Take With Me?: The Mediating Effect Of Spin-Out Team Size And Tenure On The Founder-Firm Performance Relationship
Our study examines the mediating effect of spin-out team characteristics on the relationship between founder quality and parent and spin-out performance. Since the ability to transfer or recreate complementary assets is a critical determinant of performance, we theorize and show that founders with greater ability impact both parent firm and spin-out performance by assembling teams that represent strong complementary human capital. Using linked employee-employer US Census data from the legal services industry, we find founding team size and tenure mediate the founder quality effect. Our findings have practical implications for both managers of existing firms and aspiring founders as it relates to their human resource strategies: the factor most salient to performance is not the individual quality per se, but the manner in which it impacts the transfer and spillover of complementary human capital.
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