Title: The influence of team heterogeneity on team processes of multi-person ventures: an empirical analysis of highly innovative academic start-ups

Authors: Robert J. Breitenecker, Erich J. Schwarz, Jonas Claussen

Addresses: Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Klagenfurt, Universitatsstrasse 65-67, A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria. ' Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Klagenfurt, Universitatsstrasse 65-67, A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria. ' Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Klagenfurt, Universitatsstrasse 65-67, A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

Abstract: In current publications on start ups founded by more than one person contradictory and inconsistent results are presented regarding the outcome of team heterogeneity on venture performance. This can be traced back to the inconsistent measurement of team heterogeneity. Harrison and Klein (2007) present a theoretical concept, which divides heterogeneity into three forms: separation, variety and disparity. The aim of this paper is to test empirically this theoretical concept. We analyse the influence of the three introduced types of heterogeneity on team processes which further correlate with venture performance and show that different types of heterogeneity influence team processes in different ways. By doing this, we apply multi-level models to consider the level structure of our data. The data consists of 59 technology orientated academic start-ups from Austria, supported by academic incubator programmes.

Keywords: team diversity; team heterogeneity; team processes; academic start-ups; new business ventures; multi-person ventures; innovative start-ups; innovation; venture performance; inconsistent measurements; David Harrison; Katherine Klein; separation; variety; disparity; multi-level models; technology orientated start-ups; Austria; higher education; universities; incubator programmes; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; academic entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.039683

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.12 No.4, pp.413 - 428

Published online: 14 Apr 2011 *

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