Biotechnology founders and employment systems of start-ups
by Marcus W.Y. Ho, Marie Wilson
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management (IJTPM), Vol. 7, No. 3, 2007

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.

Online publication date: Fri, 14-Sep-2007

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