Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone
Chapter 9: New Venture Teams: The Relationship between Initial Team Characteristics, Team Processes and Performance
Daniela A. Almer-Jarz, Erich J. Schwarz and Robert J. Breitenecker INTRODUCTION New and young ventures advance employment, innovation and competitiveness (Jungbauer-Gans, 1993; Schwarz and Grieshuber, 2003). There is evidence that young ventures founded by two or more persons (team foundations) have higher success prospects than their solo entrepreneurial counterparts (Cooper and Bruno, 1977; Picot et al., 1989; Mellewigt and Späth, 2002). Team foundations are likely to possess higher economic, cultural and social capital. As a consequence, they have better starting and development conditions (Lechler and Gemünden, 2003). However, there are only a limited number of studies concerning new venture teams (NVT) (Francis and Sandberg, 2000; Ensley and Pearce, 2001; Chandler et al., 2005) which examine the aspect of new venture performance in particular (Vyakarnam et al., 1999). Within the literature on NVT and new venture performance two main lines of studies have emerged. One line of studies addresses demographic characteristics of the founders. These studies concentrate on such aspects as team size, heterogeneity, previous experience and education (Teach et al., 1986; Ensley et al., 1998; Amason et al., 2006). The other line of studies focuses on team processes, for example, conﬂicts or cohesion within the team (Watson et al., 1995; Ensley et al., 2002). For both, team characteristics (Teach et al., 1986) and process variables (Ensley et al., 2002), signiﬁcant eﬀects on new venture performance have been found. Both approaches disregard the existing relationship between team characteristics and team processes. The simultaneous analysis of team...
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