Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Teams
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Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Teams

Theory and Practice

Edited by Cyrine Ben-Hafaïedh and Thomas M. Cooney

This book reinforces the value and importance of entrepreneurial teams within the entrepreneurship literature. The expert group of contributors identifies and develops various key areas of research on entrepreneurship teams and suggests the way ahead for future research in the area. The contributors expand on the existing literature on entrepreneurial teams by first revisiting the most recent framework applied to entrepreneurial teams (that is the Inputs-Mediators-Outputs-Inputs model) and then advancing our understanding of issues such as formation, structuring, deep-level diversity and emergent states. The book additionally considers different contexts of application with reference to their commonalities and specificities and investigates under-researched areas such as entrepreneurial teams within indigenous communities, ethnically diverse groups and women entrepreneurs. The contributors present practice-relevant research and offer researchers a platform from which they can explore new insights into the phenomenon of entrepreneurial teams.
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Chapter 11: Ethnic diversity in entrepreneurial teams and the role of culture shock on performance

Jean-François Lalonde


As the world becomes more global, ethnic diversity will become a more common feature of entrepreneurial teams. This study focuses on the dynamics of these groups and examines why and how this diversity influences the firm’s performance. The business start-up process of a team of partners with different ethnic backgrounds is studied in depth and the findings reveal that heightened ethnic or cultural heterogeneity can lead to a profusion of ideas, as well as to dysfunctionality. This heterogeneity needs to be managed so as to allow the team to function in a more flexible manner. A balance needs to be struck between differences and agreement, a new optimum of diversity. The chapter will highlight that it is within this context that culture shock can play a major role: it is a central element of the process of reaching equilibrium. It obliges communication and adaptation and can enhance the entrepreneurial team performance.

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