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Entrepreneurship and the Process of Obtaining Resource Commitments

  • Thomas Hellmann

    (Stanford University)

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, and what to bargain for. The optimal sequence of commitments depends on the entrepreneur's own credibility. Additional problems arise when no resource provider wants to be the first to commit. In this case the entrepreneur may shuttle between resource providers for a long time and the venture may never get started. The paper also shows how, as a result of the entrepreneurial process, the resources in a firm may differ from their first-best combination.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 0399.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0399
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  1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms," NBER Working Papers 7546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 252, David K. Levine.
  3. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1996. "Bargaining and Value," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 357-80, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Binmore, K. & Osborne, M.J. & Rubinstein, A., 1989. "Noncooperative Models Of Bargaining," Papers 89-26, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  6. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 259-76, April.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 362-78, October.
  10. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:2:p:337-388 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
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