Title: Cooperation and teamwork in technology start-ups: reflected in some Italian, British, Dutch and German findings

Authors: Jan Ulijn, Iiris Aaltio, Gianni Guerra, Lorraine Uhlaner

Addresses: Open University of The Netherlands, Kennispoort 5.18, J.F. Kennedylaan 2, NL-5600 AS Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands. ' School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyvaskyla, Finland; Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, 05 62111, Finland. ' Department of Production Systems and Economy, Turin Polytechnic, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi no. 24, Torino, 10129, Italy. ' EDHEC Business School, 24 Avenue Gustave Delory CS 50411, 59057 Roubaix Cedex 1, France

Abstract: Cooperation and teamwork is often a challenge for technology start-ups. Cooperation is usually needed in order to combine the variety of expertise and it requires trust between partners. The idea of national locality is changing in European enterprises because of the new shared markets and possibilities for cooperation. In this article we explore technology start-ups taking an Italian sample (N = 20) from the Torino-Milano area as a benchmark. Survey findings as well as case-study interviews are used as data. Italians are reputed to be communitarian and family minded as part of their national culture. Such start-ups would prefer to cooperate locally. A questionnaire and in-depth interviews are used to shed light on this issue. The samples from other EU countries, such as the United Kingdom (UK), The Netherlands (NL) (both N = 5) and Germany (N = 24) are used for comparison. Italy still seems to prefer family values and local cooperation, but with an openness to build teams within and between start-ups. The trend is similar in the UK and Germany, but not in the NL. Results also suggest that cooperation often happens informally and randomly even if benefits of it are widely recognised.

Keywords: local cooperation; family values; high-tech start-ups; teamwork; high technology companies; Italy; United Kingdom; UK; Holland; Netherlands; Germany; expertise; trust; partners; national localities; new markets; shared markets; Turin; Milan; communitarian values; communitarians; local communities; national cultures; EU; European Union; team building; informal cooperation; random cooperation; Geert Hofstede; cultural dimensions; social capital; human capital; cultural capital; Europe; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.042165

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.14 No.1, pp.100 - 126

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 30 Aug 2011 *

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