Whom do nascent ventures search for? Resource scarcity and linkage formation activities during new product development processes
Small Business Economics
AbstractExternal linkages allow nascent ventures to access crucial resources during the process of new product development. Forming external linkages can substantially contribute to a venture's performance. However, little is known about the paths of external linkage formation, as well as the circumstances that drive the choice to pursue one rather than another path. This gap deserves further investigation, because we do not know whether insights developed for incumbent firms also apply to
... also apply to nascent ventures: To address this gap, we explore a novel dataset of 370 venture creation processes. Using sequence analyses based on optimal matching techniques and cluster analyses, we reveal that nascent ventures pursue one of overall four distinct paths of linkage formation activities during new product development. Contrary to the findings of the strategy literature, we find that if nascent ventures engage in external linkages at all, they do not combine exploration- and exploitation-oriented linkages but form either exploration- or exploitation-oriented linkages. Additional regression analyses highlight the circumstances that lead nascent ventures to pursue one rather than the other pathways. Taken together, our analyses point out that resource scarcity constitutes an important factor shaping the linkage formation activities of nascent ventures. Accordingly, we show that nascent ventures tend not to optimize by adding complementary knowledge to the firm's knowledge base but rather to extend the existing knowledge base—a strategy which we call bricolage.