Interorganizational Tie Formation of Innovative Growth Companies in Silicon Valley and Berlin
In my PhD monograph, I compared interorganizational tie formation of innovative start-ups and university spin-offs in Silicon Valley and Berlin. To address the important research gap on interorganizational tie formation under conditions of high uncertainty and power asymmetry, I conducted 85 interviews with entrepreneurs and other relevant entrepreneurial actors and observed 26 entrepreneurship events in Silicon Valley and Berlin. Especially during the early founding stages, new ventures rely heavily on varying resources from their environment, but at the same time, they face great challenges to acquire them. Taking a structurationist perspective, I argued that entrepreneurial ecosystems do not only provide resources, but also scripts about how to acquire these resources. By comparing tie formation scripts and practices in Silicon Valley and Berlin, I showed how these entrepreneurial ecosystems impact interorganizational tie formation.
Degrees of Integration — How a Fragmented Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Promotes Different Types of Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EEs) are expected to support high growth entrepreneurship. Yet, little is known about how they actually promote entrepreneurial activities. Based on Giddens’ structuration theory, this paper takes the entrepreneurs’ perspective to understand how they actually use the resources provided by an EE. Based on semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs and other relevant actors in the Berlin EE along with participant observation at entrepreneurship events, this case study focuses on the resourcing practices of different types of entrepreneurs. It shows that the Berlin EE comprises two distinct subsystems. On the basis of this evidence it is proposed that EEs can have different degrees of integration and that this characteristic strongly impacts how entrepreneurs can actually acquire resources from the EE and thus how specific EEs promote different types of entrepreneurs. Heterogeneous structures therefore do not only exist between EEs but also within EEs. This heterogeneity needs to be recognized in order to understand how EEs function, enhance the comparability of research results, and design suitable political instruments to promote entrepreneurship effectively.
Social Contexts in Team Formation. Why Do Independent Start-ups and University Spin-offs Form Teams Differently?
Although the entrepreneurial team has gained increasing attention as a unit of analysis, we still do not understand much about how these teams form. Previous research has focused either on existing social relationships and their role in the search for potential team members or on criteria for selecting team members. Consequently, we do not yet understand the interplay of search and selection. Another long-neglected aspect that is being increasingly recognized in entrepreneur-ship research is that the entrepreneurial process is influenced by its social context beyond exist-ing social relationships. This social context is another important factor that has to be considered to properly understand team formation.
To analyze how specific characteristics of one particularly relevant social context—namely, the entrepreneurial field—impact the search for and selection of team members, I conducted a qualitative, multiple-case study that compares innovative new ventures in Berlin. The study shows that different types of ventures in different phases exhibit different team formation patterns based on their different and changing social contexts. From these pattern, I have derived different team-formation mechanisms and propositions about the conditions under which they apply.
My research takes a sociological perspective on entrepreneurship and innovation. It is located at the intersection of entrepreneurship, organizational theory, and sociology. My past work primarily addressed the tie formation of innovative new ventures and the discourse on entrepreneurial ecosystems. My current research builds a bridge between research on entrepreneurial teams and networks in entrepreneurship.
My PhD research was positioned at the intersection of sociology, organizational theory and entrepreneurship. It adressed the research strands on interorganizational tie formation of innovative new ventures, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and entrepreneurial team formation.
- Submission of PhD thesis: December 2019
During my bachelor’s and master’s degree, I focussed on the sociology of organizations, innovation studies and science and technology studies.
- Network Development in Silicon Valley and Berlin — The Impact of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems on Interorganizational Tie Formation.; PhD thesis
- Degrees of Integration — How a Fragmented Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Promotes Different Types of Entrepreneurs; Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 2020, PDF download
- Social Contexts in Team Formation: Why Do Independent Start-ups and University Spin-offs Form Teams Differently?; Historical Social Research, 44 (4), 2019, PDF download
- Gründen als Modus des Innovierens. Netzwerkbildung von Start-ups und Spin-offs im Innovationsprozess; Jannis Hergesell, Arne Maibaum, Celia Minnetian, Ariane Sept (editors): Innovationsphänomene, Modi und Effekte der Innovationsgesellschaft; Springer, Wiesbaden, 2018, PDF download
- Local Cultures of Tie Formation. The Impact of Context-specific Institutions on Advice Tie Formation in Innovation Attempts;
- Towards an Integrated Theory of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Systematizing Previous Research by Introducing the Concept of Fields;
- The Strength of Personal Ties — Interorganizational Tie Formation in Silicon Valley and Berlin;
Conferences and Workshops
- Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems; Organized by Timo Braun (FU Berlin), Katharina Scheidgen (TU Berlin), Suntje Schmidt (HU Berlin); Herrenhäuser symposium, funded by Volkswagen Foundation (25.000€), July 2019, Hannover
- Innovation Processes Across Organizations; Workshop with Prof. Hans Berends (VU Amsterdam) at the graduate school „Innovation Societ Today“ in collaboration with the DFG funded research group „Organized Creativity“, January 2017
- PhD-Workshop with Prof. Nils Brunsson (Uppsala University), November 2016, TU Berlin
- Bridges over Troubled Water - Network Constitution in Innovation Processes; Organized by Philip Roth (RWTH Aachen), Katharina Scheidgen (TU Berlin); two-day conferecene at TU Berlin, 45 participants, October 2016
- Innovative Wachstumsunternehmen und unternehmerische Teams: Das Verhältnis persönlicher und interorganisationaler Netzwerke; Conference of the German Network Research Association (DGNet); March 2020, Schader Foundation, Darmstadt, Germany
- Local Cultures of Tie Formation: The Impact of Context-specific Institutions on Advice Tie Formation; 4th European Conference on Social Networks; September 2019, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
- How New Ventures form Organizational Ties: The Varying Impact of Personal Ties in Berlin and Silicon Valley; 4th European Conference on Social Networks; September 2019, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
- How Entrepreneurs Acquire Resources from the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem; Symposium "Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems" at Herrenhaussen Castle, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation; July 2019, Hannover, Germany
- Entrepreneurial Networking in Berlin and Silicon Valley. A Comparison; Invited talk: Brown Bag Lecture at NIKOS-Entrepreneurship Department; April 2019, University of Twente, Netherlands
- Wie Start-ups und Spin-offs Netzwerke bilden. Berlin und Silicon Valley im Vergleich; Spring Conference of the Section Organizational Sociology; April 2019, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, Germany
- Understanding Resource Acquisition in Entrepreneurial Teams: The Relation of Personal and Organizational Networks; Workshop of the DFG-funded network Venturing Together!; April 2019, TU Munich, Germany
- Lokale Kulturen der Formation von Ratgebernetzwerken im Kontext von Innovationsversuchen; Spring Conference of the Section Sociological Network Research; February 2019, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany
- Eigenlogiken der Netzwerkgenese – Von der systematischen Bedeutung kontextspezifischen Wissens über legitime Praktiken für die Genese von Netzwerken im Innovationsprozess; 39. Conference of the German Sociological Association; September 2018, University of Göttingen, Germany
- Social Contexts in Team Formation. Why do Start-ups and Spin-offs Form Teams Differently?; 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management; August 2018, Chicago, USA
- Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Networks and Ecosystems; 3rd Workshop of the DFG-funded network Temporary Organizing; June 2018, Tilburg University, Netherlands
- How Networking Practices Constitute Entrepreneurial Ecosystems; Babson Conference; June 2018, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
- Networking for Innovation: Entrepreneurial Networking in Berlin and Silicon Valley. A Comparison; Doctoral Consortium prior the Babson Conference; June 2018, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
- Social Contexts in Team Formation: Why Do Independent Start-ups and University Spin-offs Form Teams Differently?; Workshop of the DFG-funded network Venturing Together!; April 2018, TU Berlin, Germany
- Network Development during the Founding Process. A Comparison of Start-ups and University Spin-offs; Workshop of the Working Group Network Analysis and Organizations; November 2017, University of Heidelberg, Germany
- The Impact of Organizational and Interorganizational Practices on the Governance of Fields; 33rd EGOS Colloquium; July 2017, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
- Network Development Processes of Start-ups and University Spin-offs; EGOS Pre-Colloquium PhD Workshop; July 2017, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
- Embedding in Fields by Embedded Networking: Start-ups’ Networking Practices in Distinctive Contexts; The Fifth Austrian Early Scholar Workshop in Management; May 2017, WU Vienna, Austria
- Network Development Processes of Start-ups in Innovation-specific Fields; New Institutionalism Workshop; March 2017, The Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel
- Networking Practices of Start-ups: Influenced by the Context, Influencing Network Design?; 2nd Workshop on Entrepreneurship as Practice; February 2017, UCD School of Business Dublin, Ireland
- How Fields Matter: Network Development of Start-ups in Innovation-specific Contexts; ISBE Conferenc; October 2016, Paris, France
- Innovationsspezifische Netzwerkbildung von Start-ups im Innovationsprozess; Bridges Over Troubled Water: Die Konstitution von Netzwerken im Innovationsprozess; October 2016, TU Berlin, Germany
- Innovation-specific Network Development Processes of Start-ups; The Fourth Austrian Early Scholar Workshop in Management; May 2016, JKU Linz, Austria