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Handbook of Research on Techno-Entrepreneurship

Edited by François Thérin

Techno-entrepreneurship is broadly defined as the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial activities of both existing and nascent companies operating in technology-intensive environments. Boasting rich conceptual and empirical contributions by leading international specialists, this highly original Handbook will prove an invaluable tool in advancing our understanding of the theory and practice of research in this emerging area. The expert contributors initially explore the foundations of the field, clearly defining the parameters of techno-entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 3: Exchange Relationships in Techno-Entrepreneurship Research: Toward a Multitheoretic, Integrative View

Helena Yli-Renko


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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