Handbook of Economic Organization
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Handbook of Economic Organization

Integrating Economic and Organization Theory

Edited by Anna Grandori

This comprehensive and groundbreaking Handbook integrates economic and organization theories to help elucidate the design and evolution of economic organization. Economic organization is regarded both as a subject of inquiry and as an emerging disciplinary field in its own right, integrating insights from economics, organization theory, strategy and management, economic sociology and congnitive psychology. The contributors, who share this integrated approach, are distinguished scholars at the productive peak in their fields. Each original, state-of-the art chapter not only addresses foundational issues, but also identifies key issues for future research.
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Chapter 21: The organizational design of high-tech start-ups: state of the art and directions for future research

Massimo G. Colombo and Cristina Rossi-Lamastra


The aim of this chapter is to review the literature on the organizational design of startups operating in high-tech industries. For this purpose, we highlight ‘stylized facts’ and articulate some novel research directions which deserve further exploration. Specifically, we focus attention on two prominent elements of high-tech start-ups’ organizational design, which are highly interrelated: organizational structure and decision system. We consider the influence exerted on these elements by the high human capital intensity of these firms and the high velocity environment in which they operate. The chapter finally indicates, as a promising avenue for future research, further investigation of the consequences of technical intensity of human capital and appropriability regime on the heterogeneity of high-tech start-ups.

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