Looking to the future while grounded in the past: Internalization among technology entrepreneurs

Cesar Bandera, Fazel Keshtkar, Katia Passerini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The dynamic knowledge creation process, traditionally described and applied in the context of large firms, is receiving growing attention in entrepreneurship research as a model to identify ways to decrease mortality rates in the “valley of death,” the stage of entrepreneurship infamously known for the high percentage of startup failures. Prior innovation literature associates entrepreneurship activities with the socialization phase of Nonaka’s dynamic theory of knowledge creation (also known as the SECI model). However, linguistic analysis of interviews with entrepreneurs indicates that internalization (i.e., the creation of tacit knowledge from explicit assets) plays an important role in new ventures activities. In this study, we distinguish between internalization in the current venture from internalization during the entrepreneur’s prior employment. We find a strong relationship between references to the past and internalization that is mediated by negative emotions, which may have motivated the entrepreneur to leave prior employment and launch a new venture. We also find a strong relationship between an entrepreneur’s references to the past and the number of employees in the venture, indicative of the importance of an entrepreneur’s prior knowledge internalization to the current venture. This research contributes to the growing field of entrepreneurial knowledge management by extending the role of the entrepreneur’s past knowledge creation activities to those of her/his new venture. It underscores the common tagline that we can learn more from our failures (negative emotions).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 51st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2018
EditorsTung X. Bui
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages4141-4148
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133119
StatePublished - 2018
Event51st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2018 - Big Island, United States
Duration: Jan 2 2018Jan 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2018-January
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference51st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Island
Period1/2/181/6/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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