Outcomes and Perspectives
4. New firm performance: conceptual perspectives1 Tatiana Iakovleva and Lars Kolvereid INTRODUCTION One of the central questions in the study of entrepreneurship is concerned with why some new ventures succeed and others do not (Cooper and Gascon, 1992). An understanding of why firms fail or succeed is crucial to the stability and health of the economy (Gartner et al., 1999; Storey et al., 1987). If we can achieve a better understanding of what influences a new venture success, this will have implications for prospective entrepreneurs, as well as their advisors and investors (Cooper and Gascon, 1992). That is why ‘understanding how and why some entrepreneurs succeed remains a major challenge for the entrepreneurship research community’ (Aldrich and Martinez, 2001, 41). Performance of the organization is a ‘yardstick by which founder measures success’ (Chandler and Hanks, 1994a, 78). As we are interested in new and small businesses, we can apply the logic of Chandler and Hanks (1994a), arguing that in a new small venture the performance of the entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team can be measured by the performance of the organization. While the performance of new ventures is widely studied (see for example Capon et al. 1990; Cooper and Gascon, 1992; Lerner et al. 1997; Lussier and Pfeifer, 2000; Wiklund, 1998), there is no consensus regarding the basic constructs that affect a new venture’s performance. This can be explained by the presence of different theoretical imperatives, which concern firm/entrepreneur performance from different viewpoints. It is then important to study those imperatives...
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