Title: Exploring firm emergence: initially conditioned or actively created?

Authors: Erno T. Tornikoski, Vesa Puhakka

Addresses: Department of Strategy and Organization, EM Lyon and Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences, 23, Avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex, France. ' Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4600, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

Abstract: Previous research has established a connection between initial conditions and new firm performance. Research on the gestation activities of nascent entrepreneurs, on the other hand, has demonstrated the potential importance of active behaviours on firm emergence. Since no research has addressed the effects of these two constructs on firm emergence in an empirical fashion, we frame this paper as an exploratory study designed to answer the following research question: to what extent do initial conditions and/or active behaviours explain firm emergence? We use a French national business plan competition to identify nascent firms. As a result, it seems that only active behaviours make a statistically significant impact on firm emergence, while initial conditions do not. Therefore, our preliminary finding is that a firm emerges merely through the active behaviours of entrepreneurs rather than as an outcome of initial conditions.

Keywords: firm emergence; initial conditions; active behaviours; new firm performance; nascent entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; France; startups; entrepreneurial activity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2009.021613

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2009 Vol.7 No.1, pp.123 - 138

Available online: 30 Nov 2008 *

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