Edited by Ayala Malach-Pines and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Chapter 11: Regulatory Focus in Start-ups versus Established Firms in the High-tech Industry
Sharon Barkan Introduction Nine out of ten times, when a student with an interest in high tech is asked ‘Where would you like to work when you graduate?’ the answer will probably be ‘a successful start-up company, where I can evolve professionally, gain valuable experience and be at the frontline of technology’. Later on, however, when economic pressures and security needs start playing a growing role in their lives, not many of these students make that choice when looking for a new workplace, and prefer more stable and wellestablished companies. Start-up firms are considered the quintessential part of the hightech industry, and in many ways they do justify their glorified image. Nevertheless, working with such firms seems to require a certain disposition to aid in coping with their chaotic, highly demanding and unstable nature. At the other end of the scale, the well-established, mega-sized hightech corporations usually provide a very different work milieu and as such, they seem to ‘attract’ engineers who are more comfortable with a much more stable, hierarchical and predictable work environment. Israel has the largest number of high-tech start-ups in absolute terms after the US. Eighty percent of the 3,000 Israeli companies involved in research and development (R&D) are less than 10 years old. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of start-ups in Israel in recent decades, from 150 companies in the 1980s to more than 3,000 in the year 2000 (De Fontenay and Carmel, 2004). Start-up companies have...
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