Composition of research teams along the life cycle of firms

Founders of technology-intensive firms have a strong impact on the performance of their firms. So far, research on the life cycle of firms considers general changes in the role of founders when the firm progresses along the life cycle. However, it does not investigate consequences of the choice whether to remain active in research or to focus on the general management of the firm. Given the high importance of emerging firms’ success for the performance of national economies, a deeper understanding of how a continuing involvement of founders in the research process influences innovation output and firm success is warranted. In this project we presume that founders influence in a subtle way path-dependency of research and development (R&D), recombination ability of diverse R&D team knowledge and the overall type and quality of R&D output. Moreover, we conjecture that the influence of founders on these aspects differs between intra-organizational and inter-organizational teams.

This project further investigates the influence of founders on R&D activity as well as on overall firm success along the life cycle of firms. When firms progress along the life cycle, founder-inventors are increasingly challenged as they have to decide whether they will continue to be part of the inventor team or whether they focus their limited time on the general management of the company. We therefore investigate possible divisions of labor between founders and additional top management team members with respect to research and general management. 

Selected presentations at conferences and seminars

  • Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AoM), Chicago, USA, August 10-14, 2018, “Absorbing partner knowledge in R&D collaborations – The influence of founders on realized and potential absorptive capacity”
  • Annual Meeting of the Division “Technologie, Innovation und Entrepreneurship” (TIE) of the Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft (VHB), Koblenz, September 21-22, 2017, “Absorbing partner knowledge in R&D collaborations – The influence of founders on knowledge recognition, assimilation, and exploitation”
  • RCTI – ZEW Joint Workshop on Recent Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China and Europe, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, June 28-29, 2017, “Absorbing partner knowledge in R&D collaborations – The influence of founders on knowledge recognition, assimilation, and exploitation”  
  • DRUID Annual Conference, NYU Stern School of Business, New York, USA, June 12-14, 2017, “Absorbing partner knowledge in R&D collaborations – The influence of founders on knowledge recognition, assimilation, and exploitation”
  • Research Seminar at University of Trier, January 17, 2017, “Absorbing partner knowledge in R&D Collaborations – The influence of founders on knowledge recognition, assimilation, and exploitation”
  • 20th Annual Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Conference (G-Forum), Leipzig, October 6-7, 2016, “Ventures’ capacity to absorb partner knowledge – The influence of founders on knowledge recognition, assimilation and exploitation”
  • 3rd International Conference on the Dynamics of Entrepreneurship, Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW), Mannheim, 6.-7. Juni 2016, “The Influence of Founders on Knowledge Recombination in Inventor Teams”
  • Forschungsseminar an der Leeds University Business School, 26. April 2016, “Founder Inventors and Their Investors: Implications for Firm Survival and Growth”
  • Joint UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Seminar Series, Maastricht University, 23. Februar 2016, “Founder Inventors and Their Investors: Implications for Firm Survival and Growth”
  • Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Natick, USA, 10.-13. Juni 2015, “Founder Involvement in Research and Development: Implications for Firm Survival and Growth”
  • 18th Annual Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Conference (G-Forum), Oldenburg, 13.-14. November 2014, “Founder Involvement in Research and Development: Implications for Firm Survival and Growth”
  • Jahrestagung der Division “Technologie, Innovation und Entrepreneurship” (TIE) des Verbands der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft (VHB), München, 22.-24. Oktober 2014, “Founder Involvement in Research and Development: Implications for Firm Survival and Growth”

Cooperation partners