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Entrepreneurship and the Process of Obtaining Resource Commitments


  • Hellmann, Thomas F.

    (Stanford U)


Most theories of the firm ignore the entrepreneurial process of how the various resources of the firm are combined in the first place. This paper examines the process of how an entrepreneur obtains commitments from multiple resource providers to create a new venture. Resource providers may be reluctant to commit to an unproven concept, and the commitment of one gives external validation for the others. The entrepreneur has to decide in what order to approach potential providers. The optimal sequence is shown to depend on the entrepreneur's own credibility. When no resource provider wants to be the first to commit, the entrepreneur may shuttle between resource providers for a long time and the opportunity may evaporate before the venture ever gets started. Finally, the resource combination of a firm may differ from its first-best combination, either if the entrepreneur wants to retain a larger fraction of a smaller pie, or if inefficient resource providers are more willing to be the first to commit.

Suggested Citation

  • Hellmann, Thomas F., 2000. "Entrepreneurship and the Process of Obtaining Resource Commitments," Research Papers 1704, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1704

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
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    4. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1998. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1188-1206, December.
    5. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-276.
    6. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting with Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388.
    7. Binmore, Ken & Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1992. "Noncooperative models of bargaining," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 179-225 Elsevier.
    8. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
    9. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1996. "Bargaining and Value," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 357-380, March.
    10. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1995. "Start-ups, Spin-offs, and Internal Projects," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 362-378, October.
    11. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2002. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-Up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 169-197, February.
    2. Nicholas Dew & Saras Sarasvathy, 2007. "Innovations, Stakeholders & Entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 267-283, September.
    3. Hellmann, Thomas, 2002. "A theory of strategic venture investing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 285-314, May.

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