IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/ratioi/0210.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Practice Makes Perfect: Entrepreneurial-Experience Curves and Venture Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Toft-Kehler, Rasmus

    (Copenhagen Business School, Symbion Entrepreneurial Learning Lab)

  • Wennberg, Karl

    (Ratio and Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Kim, Phillip

    (Wisconsin School of Business)

Abstract

This study tackles the puzzle of why increasing entrepreneurial experience does not always lead to improved financial performance of new ventures. We propose an alternate framework demonstrating how experience translates into expertise by arguing that the positive experience-performance relationship only appears to expert entrepreneurs, while novice entrepreneurs may actually perform increasingly worse because of their inability to generalize their experiential knowledge accurately into new ventures. These negative performance implications can be alleviated if the level of contextual similarity between prior and current ventures is high. Using matched employee-employer data of an entire population of Swedish founder-managers between 1990 and 2007, we find a non-linear relationship between entrepreneurial experience and financial performance consistent with our framework. Moreover, the level of industry, geographic, and temporal similarities between prior and current ventures positively moderates this relationship. Our work provides both theoretical and practical implications for entrepreneurial experience—people can learn entrepreneurship and pursue it with greater success as long as they have multiple opportunities to gain experience, overcome barriers to learning, and build an entrepreneurial-experience curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Toft-Kehler, Rasmus & Wennberg, Karl & Kim, Phillip, 2013. "Practice Makes Perfect: Entrepreneurial-Experience Curves and Venture Performance," Ratio Working Papers 210, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0210
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ratio.se/sv/publikationer/working-papers/2013/no-210-practice-makes-perfect-entrepreneurial-experience-curves-and-venture-performance.aspx
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mary Tripsas & Giovanni Gavetti, 2000. "Capabilities, cognition, and inertia: evidence from digital imaging," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(10‐11), pages 1147-1161, October.
    2. Timothy B. Folta & Frédéric Delmar & Karl Wennberg, 2010. "Hybrid Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(2), pages 253-269, February.
    3. Oe, Akitsu & Mitsuhashi, Hitoshi, 2013. "Founders' experiences for startups' fast break-even," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2193-2201.
    4. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
    5. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
    7. Joseph Lampel & Jamal Shamsie & Zur Shapira, 2009. "Experiencing the Improbable: Rare Events and Organizational Learning," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, October.
    8. Ronald K. Mitchell & Lowell W. Busenitz & Barbara Bird & Connie Marie Gaglio & Jeffery S. McMullen & Eric A. Morse & J. Brock Smith, 2007. "The Central Question in Entrepreneurial Cognition Research 2007," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 31(1), pages 1-27, January.
    9. Maurizio Zollo & Jeffrey J. Reuer & Harbir Singh, 2002. "Interorganizational Routines and Performance in Strategic Alliances," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(6), pages 701-713, December.
    10. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    11. Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    12. Maurizio Zollo, 2009. "Superstitious Learning with Rare Strategic Decisions: Theory and Evidence from Corporate Acquisitions," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(5), pages 894-908, October.
    13. Joel A. C. Baum & Paul Ingram, 1998. "Survival-Enhancing Learning in the Manhattan Hotel Industry, 1898--1980," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 996-1016, July.
    14. Dennis Epple & Linda Argote & Rukmini Devadas, 1991. "Organizational Learning Curves: A Method for Investigating Intra-Plant Transfer of Knowledge Acquired Through Learning by Doing," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 58-70, February.
    15. Rerup, Claus, 2005. "Learning from past experience: Footnotes on mindfulness and habitual entrepreneurship," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 451-472, December.
    16. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-559, November.
    17. Robert A. Baron & Michael D. Ensley, 2006. "Opportunity Recognition as the Detection of Meaningful Patterns: Evidence from Comparisons of Novice and Experienced Entrepreneurs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1331-1344, September.
    18. Saras D. Sarasvathy, 2004. "Making It Happen: Beyond Theories of the Firm to Theories of Firm Design," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 28(6), pages 519-531, November.
    19. Klepper, Steven, 2001. "Employee Startups in High-Tech Industries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 639-674, September.
    20. Delmar, Frederic & Shane, Scott, 2004. "Legitimating first: organizing activities and the survival of new ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 385-410, May.
    21. Christine M. Beckman & M. Diane Burton, 2008. "Founding the Future: Path Dependence in the Evolution of Top Management Teams from Founding to IPO," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, February.
    22. Diamanto Politis, 2005. "The Process of Entrepreneurial Learning: A Conceptual Framework," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 29(4), pages 399-424, July.
    23. Michael A. Lapré & Amit Shankar Mukherjee & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2000. "Behind the Learning Curve: Linking Learning Activities to Waste Reduction," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 597-611, May.
    24. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt & Jeffrey A. Martin, 2000. "Dynamic capabilities: what are they?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(10‐11), pages 1105-1121, October.
    25. Gaylen N. Chandler, 1996. "Business Similarity as a Moderator of the Relationship between Pre-Ownership Experience and Venture Performance," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 20(3), pages 51-65, April.
    26. Ucbasaran, Deniz & Alsos, Gry Agnete & Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 2008. "Habitual Entrepreneurs," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 309-450, March.
    27. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
    28. Paul Westhead & Mike Wright, 1998. "Novice, Portfolio, and Serial Founders in Rural and Urban Areas," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 22(4), pages 63-100, July.
    29. June-Young Kim & Ji-Yub (Jay) Kim & Anne S. Miner, 2009. "Organizational Learning from Extreme Performance Experience: The Impact of Success and Recovery Experience," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(6), pages 958-978, December.
    30. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    31. Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
    32. Tornikoski, Erno T. & Newbert, Scott L., 2007. "Exploring the determinants of organizational emergence: A legitimacy perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 311-335, March.
    33. 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.
    34. Gartner, William B. & Starr, Jennifer A. & Bhat, Subodh, 1999. "Predicting new venture survival: An analysis of "anatomy of a start-up." cases from Inc. Magazine," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 215-232, March.
    35. Frédéric Delmar & Scott Shane, 2003. "Does business planning facilitate the development of new ventures?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(12), pages 1165-1185, December.
    36. James G. March & Lee S. Sproull & Michal Tamuz, 1991. "Learning from Samples of One or Fewer," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 1-13, February.
    37. Ucbasaran, Deniz & Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 2009. "The extent and nature of opportunity identification by experienced entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 99-115, March.
    38. Linda Argote & Ella Miron-Spektor, 2011. "Organizational Learning: From Experience to Knowledge," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(5), pages 1123-1137, October.
    39. Stuart, Robert W. & Abetti, Pier A., 1990. "Impact of entrepreneurial and management experience on early performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 151-162, May.
    40. Frédéric Delmar & Scott Shane, 2006. "Does Experience Matter? : The Effect of Founding Team Experience on the Survival and Sales of Newly Founded Ventures," Post-Print hal-02311638, HAL.
    41. Colin Mason & Richard Harrison, 2006. "After the exit: Acquisitions, entrepreneurial recycling and regional economic development," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 55-73.
    42. John C. Dencker & Marc Gruber & Sonali K. Shah, 2009. "Pre-Entry Knowledge, Learning, and the Survival of New Firms," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 516-537, June.
    43. Michael D. Cohen & Paul Bacdayan, 1994. "Organizational Routines Are Stored as Procedural Memory: Evidence from a Laboratory Study," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(4), pages 554-568, November.
    44. Robert H. Hayes & Kim B. Clark, 1985. "Explaining Observed Productivity Differentials Between Plants: Implications for Operations Research," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 15(6), pages 3-14, December.
    45. Paul Gompers & Anna Kovner & Josh Lerner & David Scharfstein, 2006. "Skill vs. Luck in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital: Evidence from Serial Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers 12592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. Frese, Michael, 2009. "Towards a Psychology of Entrepreneurship — An Action Theory Perspective," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 5(6), pages 437-496, November.
    47. Jing Chen, 2013. "Selection and Serial Entrepreneurs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 281-311, June.
    48. Marc Gruber & Ian C. MacMillan & James D. Thompson, 2008. "Look Before You Leap: Market Opportunity Identification in Emerging Technology Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(9), pages 1652-1665, September.
    49. Cassar, Gavin, 2014. "Industry and startup experience on entrepreneur forecast performance in new firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 137-151.
    50. Melissa A. Schilling & Patricia Vidal & Robert E. Ployhart & Alexandre Marangoni, 2003. "Learning by Doing Something Else: Variation, Relatedness, and the Learning Curve," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 39-56, January.
    51. Steven Klepper, 2002. "The capabilities of new firms and the evolution of the US automobile industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 645-666, August.
    52. 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.
    53. Jerker Denrell, 2003. "Vicarious Learning, Undersampling of Failure, and the Myths of Management," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3), pages 227-243, June.
    54. Parker, Simon C., 2006. "Learning about the unknown: How fast do entrepreneurs adjust their beliefs?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, January.
    55. 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.
    56. Shepherd, Dean A. & Wiklund, Johan & Haynie, J. Michael, 2009. "Moving forward: Balancing the financial and emotional costs of business failure," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 134-148, March.
    57. Stuart, Toby & Sorenson, Olav, 2003. "The geography of opportunity: spatial heterogeneity in founding rates and the performance of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 229-253, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Linda Argote & Ella Miron-Spektor, 2011. "Organizational Learning: From Experience to Knowledge," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(5), pages 1123-1137, October.
    2. Fan, Terence & Schwab, Andreas & Geng, Xuesong, 2021. "Habitual entrepreneurship in digital platform ecosystems: A time-contingent model of learning from prior software project experiences," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 36(5).
    3. Parker, Simon C., 2013. "Do serial entrepreneurs run successively better-performing businesses?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 652-666.
    4. Patel, Pankaj C. & Tsionas, Mike & Oghazi, Pejvak & Izquierdo, Vanessa, 2022. "No entrepreneur steps in the same river twice: Limited learning advantage for serial entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 1038-1052.
    5. David Maslach & Oana Branzei & Claus Rerup & Mark J. Zbaracki, 2018. "Noise as Signal in Learning from Rare Events," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(2), pages 225-246, April.
    6. Ko, Eun-Jeong & McKelvie, Alexander, 2018. "Signaling for more money: The roles of founders' human capital and investor prominence in resource acquisition across different stages of firm development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 438-454.
    7. Rocha, Vera & Pozzoli, Dario, 2021. "Give it Another Shot: Startup Experience and the Mobilization of Human Resources in New Ventures," Working Papers 11-2021, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    8. Sandra Gottschalk & Francis J. Greene & Bettina Müller, 2017. "The impact of habitual entrepreneurial experience on new firm closure outcomes," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 303-321, February.
    9. Argote, Linda & Fahrenkopf, Erin, 2016. "Knowledge transfer in organizations: The roles of members, tasks, tools, and networks," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 146-159.
    10. Glauber, Johanna & Kretschmer, Tobias, 2018. "Learning from failure across products," CEPR Discussion Papers 13140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Scott F. Rockart & Kristin Wilson, 2019. "Learning in Cycles," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(1), pages 70-87, February.
    12. Salisu Isyaku, 2014. "Mediating Effect of Uncertainty Avoidance on the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Talent and SMEs Performance in Nigeria: A Conceptual Analysis," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 4(6), pages 368-383, June.
    13. Amrita Lahiri & Anu Wadhwa, 2021. "When do serial entrepreneurs found innovative ventures? Evidence from patent data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(4), pages 1973-1993, December.
    14. John C. Dencker & Marc Gruber & Sonali K. Shah, 2009. "Pre-Entry Knowledge, Learning, and the Survival of New Firms," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 516-537, June.
    15. Edward G. Anderson & Kyle Lewis, 2014. "A Dynamic Model of Individual and Collective Learning Amid Disruption," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 356-376, April.
    16. Mayer-Haug, Katrin & Read, Stuart & Brinckmann, Jan & Dew, Nicholas & Grichnik, Dietmar, 2013. "Entrepreneurial talent and venture performance: A meta-analytic investigation of SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1251-1273.
    17. Carolyn D. Egelman & Dennis Epple & Linda Argote & Erica R.H. Fuchs, 2013. "Learning by Doing in a Multi-Product Manufacturing Environment: Product Variety, Customizations, and Overlapping Product Generations," NBER Working Papers 19674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Daniel Tzabbar & Jaclyn Margolis, 2017. "Beyond the Startup Stage: The Founding Team’s Human Capital, New Venture’s Stage of Life, Founder–CEO Duality, and Breakthrough Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(5), pages 857-872, October.
    19. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn Shaw, 2016. "Serial Entrepreneurship: Learning by Doing?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 217-254.
    20. Anupam Agrawal & Suresh Muthulingam, 2015. "Does Organizational Forgetting Affect Vendor Quality Performance? An Empirical Investigation," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 17(3), pages 350-367, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Serial Entrepreneurship; Learning Curves; Experience; Similarity; Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:hhs:ratioi:0210. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ratiose.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Martin Korpi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ratiose.html .

    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.