Title: Biotechnology founders and employment systems of start-ups

Authors: Marcus W.Y. Ho, Marie Wilson

Addresses: Faculty of Business, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1124, New Zealand. ' Department of Management, The University of Auckland Business School, University of Auckland, Private Bag 90219, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract: Founders of high-technology companies build organisations that depend on specialised human capital. Their mental models of the organisation, including those for employment, influence the ongoing development of the firm. This study utilises cognitive mapping and in-depth case studies to link founders| mental models and emergent employment systems in the New Zealand biotechnology industry. Findings suggest that biotechnology founders emphasise a |star| system in their mental models of employment, and are heavily influenced by scarcity of resources – particularly the difficulty of recruiting top scientists to biotechnology start-ups – as well as external stakeholders.

Keywords: founders; mental models; employment systems; New Zealand; biotechnology start-ups; entrepreneurship; high-technology companies; high-tech firms; human capital; cognitive mapping; case studies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2007.015110

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2007 Vol.7 No.3, pp.263 - 279

Published online: 14 Sep 2007 *

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