Research topics

Entrepreneurial Finance

Entrepreneurial Finance.  Entrepreneurs have access to an increasingly wide range of new financing sources (e.g., crowdfunding, accelerators and incubators, university-based seed funds) that may help young and innovative entrepreneurial firms to bridge the financing gap and grow.

Yet, we lack evidence on how these new financing sources interact with traditional sources, their (dis)advantages, and their subsequent impact on firm performance.

More broadly, there is a need for a more comprehensive understanding of financial decision-making by entrepreneurs that takes into account the complexity of the evolving entrepreneurial finance ecosystem, the heterogeneity in entrepreneurial characteristics, and firm characteristics.

Entrepreneurial opportunities

A number of people in the team are interested in the development of entrepreneurial opportunities. Several aspects of this topic are studied:

  • Which processes do entrepreneurs use to develop entrepreneurial opportunities over time,
  • Which individual characteristics drive the development of specific types of opportunities and the development process?

This topic also includes work on business model innovation in new ventures. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are used in this research.

Founder and Team Characteristics in new ventures

The research team has a relatively long tradition in studying founder and team characteristics in new ventures, and has widely published on the topic.

Recently, the research team has focused more extensively on individual characteristics (e.g. sensegiving, personality, passion, identity) and team processes, just as team networking activities.

The research topic has been approached with qualitative just as quantitative research methodologies.

Corporate governance

Over the past years, the research team has started to study corporate governance in new ventures, and has particularly focused on the role of boards of directors.

While this research focus has recently given rise to a number of publications and a submitted PhD thesis, more publications are expected on this topic over the next years.

While, so far, the topic has been approached with quantitative methodologies, an expansion towards qualitative designs in order to open up the black box of board processes is expected.

Psychological aspects of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship provides a rich context for applying psychological theories and measures. Some examples include:

  • The puzzle of the successful entrepreneur: What job-related Knowledges, Skills, Abilities, and Other characteristics (KSAOs) predict success as entrepreneurs? Research in this domain has focused on personal initiative and prosocial personality but there are several other motivational constructs that are promising in explaining entrepreneurial behavior.
  • Climate emergence in org: Researchers have long argued that the psychological environment of organizations is important for success. However, organizational researchers have not yet well understood and modeled how psychological climates in organizations develop. New ventures are a particularly suited for studying these key questions for organizational researchers.
  • Self-regulation (e.g., under- vs. overconfidence): In addition to stable characteristics/KSAOs, a key requirement for successful entrepreneurs and innovators is also the regulation and adaptation of behavior and motivation when they deal with setbacks and changing task contexts.

Technology transfer

This topic has been widely studied by the research team and has resulted in a wide range of publications and defended PhDs. Technology transfer is a broad domain, and particular perspectives have been taken within this domain:

  • The team has a strong tradition in studying academic spin-offs, hereby focusing on the role of the university and the founding team.
  • The team has studied, and still studies the structures which aim at enhancing technology transfer from universities, such as incubators, accelerators, collective research centers and technology transfer offices.
  • The team has focused on the individual researcher, for instance by looking at entrepreneurial intentions of researchers at universities.
  • A regional perspective has been taken, in which researchers have focused on regional differences and key drivers in technology transfer, often taking a macro-perspective.

Social Entrepreneurship

Worldwide social entrepreneurship has gained increasing attention of academics and practitioners as an effective way to tackle a variety of unsolved social problems, often referred to as ‘wicked problems’. Particularly, pursuing a dual mission of creating social value as well being financially sustainable is challenging. Because of this dual mission, social enterprises are described as hybrid organizations. In our research team we study how newly created as well as established social enterprises deal with the challenges related to their hybrid character.  Some research topics are:

  • Governance of social enterprises: we study corporate governance mechanism and the board of directors of social enterprises, as they are considered crucial in balancing the financial and social goals of social enterprises.
  • Social and human capital of social entrepreneurs: we study the relationship between the social and human capital of social entrepreneurs/social enterprises and the organizational performance.
  • Measurement of non-financial performance of social enterprises: because of the dual mission of social enterprises, it is important to measure financial as well as non-financial performance when evaluating social enterprises.