Edited by François Thérin
Chapter 3: Exchange Relationships in Techno-Entrepreneurship Research: Toward a Multitheoretic, Integrative View
Helena Yli-Renko Introduction New business creation and growth are not autonomous, isolated processes but collective processes that involve the establishment and sustaining of a network of relationships between the new organization and other parties in its environment. A ﬁrm needs to interact with the customers for and distributors of its outputs, and with the suppliers of inputs that the ﬁrm requires, such as funds, labour, material resources and knowledge. A young ﬁrm’s relationships provide access to external resources, which compensate for internal resource constraints (Jarillo, 1988; Pfeﬀer and Salancik, 1977). Accumulated resources make it possible for ﬁrms to exploit the ‘productive opportunities’ (Penrose, 1959) in their environment, as well as to provide a buﬀer against ‘environmental jolts’ (Venkataraman and Van de Ven, 1998). Consequently, a young ﬁrm’s external relationships have a significant and long-lasting impact on the behaviour, survival and success of the ﬁrms (Aldrich and Pfeﬀer, 1976; Birley, 1985; Larson, 1992; Venkataraman, 1989). The inﬂuences of exchange relationships are particularly relevant for young, technology-based ﬁrms. Such ﬁrms usually operate in narrow market ‘interstices’ (Penrose, 1959) in highly volatile environments characterized by rapid changes in technologies and markets (Bruno and Tyebjee, 1982). Further, technology-based ﬁrms are highly knowledge-intensive, creating value through exploiting their distinctive technological knowledge and needing access to external sources of knowledge (Autio, Sapienza and Almeida, 2000). These are conditions that make it both increasingly important and increasingly diﬃcult for young ﬁrms to establish and maintain exchange relationships successfully. Recognizing the critical role...
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