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Howard E. Aldrich

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Stephen Lippmann and Howard E. Aldrich

Time matters for entrepreneurship. Whose time should matter and how it should be conceptualized, however, are heavily contested questions in the humanities and social sciences. In this chapter, we examine the ways in which time matters for entrepreneurship and the temporal contexts in which entrepreneurs operate. We review how temporal processes are considered in other disciplines that focus on creative activities. We analyse the ways in which these frameworks can inform the study of entrepreneurship, and propose reconsideration – both theoretically and methodologically – of the temporal context of entrepreneurship research.

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Phillip H. Kim and Howard E. Aldrich

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Phillip H. Kim and Howard E. Aldrich

Many people claim to be experts when it comes to launching new businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs can easily read how-to articles, listen to inspiring TED talks, and follow online the journeys of other founders. A quick search on Google for ‘founding team advice’ yields over 11 million hits. But how much of this advice is actually valid and fruitful for entrepreneurs? Do these insights hold up when evaluated against findings from academic research? This chapter reviews several common themes concerning strategies for constructing founding teams, promoted by practitioners and consultants in the popular press, and analyses their veracity and feasibility using published findings from academic research. Thereafter, detailed discussions will demonstrate that following the proposed advice is extremely difficult to follow (given the constraints faced by founding teams), while additionally highlighting that some advice is evidence-based and some stems from practitioner insights that appear worthy of further investigation. The chapter concludes by outlining some research pathways.

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Howard E. Aldrich, Martin Ruef and Steven Lippmann

Social networks play a significant role in many facets of organizational emergence. Indeed, the larger network structure in which entrepreneurs are embedded constitutes a sizeable portion of their opportunity structure. Entrepreneurs’ personal networks – the set of persons to whom they are directly linked – affect their access to social, emotional and material support. It is commonly accepted that many efforts to initiate new startups are heavily reliant on networks and teams, rather than being based on true, solo entrepreneurs. For instance, more than half of American entrepreneurs share ownership with others in their business startups. Fully 95 percent of the individuals who are trying to start a business either have involved others to help in some significant capacity or intend to do so soon (Ruef, 2010). Network analysts distinguish between two complementary dimensions of someone’s social relations: (1) their diversity or heterogeneity, and (2) their affective or emotional strength. The usefulness of any relationship is context dependent. In the context of entrepreneurial networks, people need access to information and other resources. Thus, multiple diverse contacts are important, no matter what their strength. Regardless of their personal networking abilities, entrepreneurs who occupy impoverished social locations may find themselves cut off from valuable knowledge and critical resources. We first explain why diversity in social relations may convey advantages to entrepreneurs, and then consider the contribution of relational strength to entrepreneurial action.