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Disentangling the Effects of New Venture Team Functional Heterogeneity on New Venture Performance


  • Uwe Cantner

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Maximilian Goethner

    () (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Department of Economics, DFG-GK-1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change")

  • Michael Stuetzer

    () (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Department of Economics, DFG-GK-1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change")


Previous research on entrepreneurial teams has failed to settle the controversy over whether team heterogeneity helps or hinders new venture performance. Reconciling this inconsistency, this paper suggests a new conceptual approach to disentangle differential effects of team heterogeneity by modeling two separate heterogeneity dimensions, namely knowledge scope and knowledge disparity. Analyzing unique data on functional experiences of the members of 337 start-up teams, we find support for our contention of team heterogeneity as a two-dimensional concept. Results suggest that knowledge disparity negatively relates to both start-ups' entrepreneurial and innovative performance. In contrast, we find knowledge scope to positively affect entrepreneurial performance, while it shows an inverse U-shaped relationship to innovative start-up performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Cantner & Maximilian Goethner & Michael Stuetzer, 2010. "Disentangling the Effects of New Venture Team Functional Heterogeneity on New Venture Performance," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-029, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-029

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Koch & Jochen Späth & Harald Strotmann, 2013. "The role of employees for post-entry firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 733-755, October.
    2. Elisabeth Bublitz & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "Balanced Skills and the City: An Analysis of the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Skill Balance, Thickness, and Innovation," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 475-508, October.
    3. Uwe Cantner & Tina Wolf, 2016. "The selective nature of innovator networks: from the nascent to the early growth phase of the organizational life cycle," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-021, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Rosendahl Huber, Laura & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, Mirjam C., 2014. "Jacks-of-All-Trades? The Effect of Balanced Skills on Team Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 8237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Entrepreneurial teams; New venture performance; Team heterogeneity; Team diversity;

    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
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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