Selected Accepted Journal Articles
Kim, P., & Longest, K. (2013). You Can’t Leave Your Work Behind: Employment Experience and Founding Collaborations.
Journal of Business Venturing
It is well known that founders typically seek assistance for their fledgling ventures, but what remains unclear are the reasons why some founders collaborate with more people than others in their startup efforts. Our study investigates the link between employment experience and the extent to which founders depend on others for assistance when starting businesses. Employment experience provides founders with opportunities to be exposed to and develop preferences for particular work environments and the conditions associated with certain organizational roles. Drawing on occupational socialization theory, we investigate why employment experience predicts founding collaboration size. Our analysis of a nationally representative sample of early-stage business founders in the United States reveals that the amount of business experience and the defining social and analytical requirements of a founder’s occupational background affect the number of people founders choose to involve in their founding efforts in opposite ways: While founders possessing venture-specific industry experience are more likely to opt for solo ventures or smaller collaborations, founders with backgrounds in highly interactive occupations are more likely to recruit more collaborators as co-owners. We found this preference for collaboration is strengthened for founders with occupational backgrounds that called for both interactive and analytical work. Our findings have theoretical and practical implications on how founders’ experience influences the extent to which they initiate collaborations with others.
Toft-Kehler, R., Wennberg, K., & Kim, P. (2013). Practice Makes Perfect: Entrepreneurial-Experience Curves and Venture Performance.
Journal of Business Venturing
This study tackles the puzzle of why increasing entrepreneurial experience does not always lead to improved financial performance of new ventures. We propose an alternate framework demonstrating how experience translates into expertise by arguing that the positive experience-performance relationship only appears to expert entrepreneurs, while novice entrepreneurs may actually perform increasingly worse because of their inability to generalize their experiential knowledge accurately into new ventures. These negative performance implications can be alleviated if the level of contextual similarity between prior and current ventures is high. Using matched employee-employer data of an entire population of Swedish founder-managers between 1990 and 2007, we find a non-linear relationship between entrepreneurial experience and financial performance consistent with our framework. Moreover, the level of industry, geographic, and temporal similarities between prior and current ventures positively moderates this relationship. Our work provides both theoretical and practical implications for entrepreneurial experience—people can learn entrepreneurship and pursue it with greater success as long as they have multiple opportunities to gain experience, overcome barriers to learning, and build an entrepreneurial-experience curve.
Kim, P., & Li, M. (2013). Seeking Assurances When Taking Action: Legal Systems, Social Trust, and Starting Businesses in Emerging Economies.
This study examines how institutional conditions provide assurances founders seek when creating businesses. Classical theories predict legal institutions promote supportive conditions that foster business creation. We develop an alternative theory for why this relationship is not as straightforward in emerging economies. In these regions, people may be discouraged from taking entrepreneurial action because of the difficulties in accessing legal protections efficiently. We also introduce theory regarding the moderating role of generalized social trust because of its normative influences on business creation. We argue generalized trust in strangers exerts positive moderating effects on the direct relationship between legal protections and entrepreneurship. The findings from our multilevel analysis of 30 emerging economies are consistent with our theory. Our work advances a new framework for how entrepreneurs cope with uncertain business conditions in emerging economies where informal, normative social structures offer more privately oriented safeguards than do formal, publically oriented institutions. Our study also reconnects macro-institutional theories with individual-level accounts of entrepreneurship.
Kim, P., & Li, M. (2012). Injecting Demand Through Spillovers: Foreign Direct Investment and Host-Country Entrepreneurial Activity.
Journal of Business Venturing
This study examines how foreign direct investment (FDI) spurs entrepreneurial activity in host countries. We also investigate why this relationship varies across countries because of domestic socio-political conditions. The findings from our panel analyses of 104 countries from 2000 to 2009 are consistent with our predictions that foreign direct investment positively relates to business creation and this positive effect is strongest in countries with poor institutional support, weak political stability, and low general human capital. Our work provides new insights into how cross-border investments and domestic socio-political conditions jointly influence entrepreneurial activity, especially in emerging and developing economies.
Selected Published Journal Articles
Kim, P., Longest, K., & Aldrich, H. (2013). Can You Lend Me a Hand? Task-Role Alignment of Social Support Social Support for Aspiring Business Owners.
Work and Occupations
Previous research has emphasized the positive impact of supportive informal relations on workers in various occupational settings. Such support seems particularly important for workers who aspire to be self-employed, running their own businesses. Existing theory, however, offers little guidance regarding the mechanisms through which these supportive relationships operate. We argue that social support and role expectation theories address this conundrum. Our framework highlights the differences between instrumental and informational support types, the requirements involved in delivering such support, and the benefits of aligning role expectations with the type of support requested. Analyzing a representative sample of people attempting to create their own small businesses in the United States, we find evidence consistent with our predictions: social support’s effect on their persistence in the attempt depends on alignment between the tasks performed and the roles of the support provider. To the extent that the support is task-role aligned, aspiring business owners receive the greatest benefits from high-commitment service and labor assistance provided by extended family and low-commitment informational assistance from friends, but also suffer the most when such support is misaligned. These findings cast doubt on the prevailing assumption in the broader social support literature: that having more support always leads to better outcomes.
Kim, P., Lee, C., & Reynolds, P. (2012). Backed by the State: Social Protection and Starting Businesses in Knowledge-Intensive Industries.
Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth
Our research investigates how state-sponsored social protection is associated with undertaking the initial steps to start businesses in knowledge-intensive sectors. We define social protection as policies to protect individuals against economic risk. Although research generally shows a negative link between coordinated market economies and business creation, we highlight conditions when social protection may actually have positive consequences on entrepreneurial action. Specifically, these policies can encourage individuals to develop specific skills, which can be used by those who start businesses to pursue opportunities in knowledge-intensive sectors. Findings from a cross-national sample of individuals starting businesses in 16 advanced industrialized countries are consistent with this claim. We also find that educational attainment moderates this positive direct relationship. Our study is one of the first that provides new explanations for how welfare states can actually promote certain types of entrepreneurial action in highly coordinated economies by orienting their economic activity toward a system of highly skilled and productive labor.
Kim, P., & Aldrich, H. (2011). Are We There Yet? Measurement Challenges in Studying New Ventures. Handbook of Research into New Venture Creation, 185-193.
Aldrich, H., & Kim, P. (2007). A Life Course Perspective on Occupational Inheritance: Self-employed Parents and Their Children. Research in the Sociology of Organizations (25), 33-82.
Aldrich, H., & Kim, P. (2007). Small Worlds, Infinite Possibilities? How Social Networks Affect Entrepreneurial Team Formation and Search.
Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
The social network perspective has become an important analytical lens for understanding strategic actions among entrepreneurs. Social theorists offer two competing visions of networks' configurations: one of infinite opportunities for individuals to develop heterogeneous circles of affiliations and the other of constrained opportunities privileging only certain individuals. We draw on this tension to describe three models of network formation – random, small world, and truncated scale free – and apply them to entrepreneurial team formation and resource mobilization strategies undertaken by entrepreneurs. We compare and contrast two models of team formation – a rational process model and an interpersonal relations model – and identify the network contexts under which each is most applicable. Mundane entrepreneurial teams arise within localized clusters and appear unlikely to take advantage of what network theorists have called small world networks, which depend upon bridging ties between clusters. Nonetheless, there are entrepreneurial strategies through which new ventures might achieve the advantages of small world networks. To the extent that new ventures emerge in truncated scale free networks, their founders must work within a highly centralized structure, with its institutionalized standards making team formation and entrepreneurial search more instrumental than within small worlds.
Kim, P., Aldrich, H., & Keister, L. (2006). Access (not) Denied: The Impact of Financial, Human, and Cultural Capital on Entrepreneurial Entry in the United States.
Small Business Economics
Entrepreneurship contributes to business dynamics in all economies, and the individual benefits of starting a business are clear. Nonetheless, access to business start-ups may not be available to all people because of resource constraints. Using a unique new data set for the United States, we examine the relative importance of three forms of resources in pursuing start-up ventures: financial, human, and cultural capital. Our analysis of the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics shows that neither financial nor cultural capital resources are necessary conditions for entrepreneurial entry. By contrast, potential entrepreneurs gain significant advantages if they possess high levels of human capital. Specifically, advanced education and managerial experience are significantly positively associated with entrepreneurial entry. Our findings suggest that attempts at entering entrepreneurship, at least in the short-term, may be increasing, as opportunities to acquire human capital are becoming more widespread.
Kim, P., & Aldrich, H. (2005). Social Capital and Entrepreneurship.
Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship
Launched in 2002, Friendster, a popular website, promised to help users leverage their social capital and enlarge their social networks.The failure of Friendster to bring its promise to fruition illustrates the fact that the embedded nature of social networks often places socio-cultural constraints on entrepreneurs' efforts to earn high returns on their social capital. Much of this text is devoted to an analysis of three empirical observations about social networks.The first is that social networks tend toward homogeneity (rather than diversity).Although entrepreneurs who develop broad, diverse networks enjoy long-term benefits, most entrepreneurs rely on the safety of familiarity and remain in homogenous relationships.The second observation is that network relationships vary in strength and distance.The most successful entrepreneurs are those who create portfolios of diverse network ties. The final observation is some actors within a global network are more central than others.Effective entrepreneurs actively seek central network positions that increase their prestige and move closer to other prestigious network figures.Several relevant social network tools are used to study these observations. (SAA)
Selected Submitted Journal Articles
Kim, P., Longest, K., & Lippmann, S. (2013). The Tortoise Versus the Hare: Progress and Business Viability Among Leisure-Based Founders.
Kim, P., Longest, K., & Li, M. Diving in Before Testing the Waters: Founders' Knowledge and Venture-Organizing Priorities.
Kim, J., Kim, P., & O'Toole, J. Strategy Making by Inter-Industry Analogy in Nascent Markets.
Kim, P., & Kotha, R. Taking Leaps of Faith: Organizational Narratives and Resource Commitments for New Initiatives.
Kim, P., Croidieu, G., & Lippmann, S. Torn Between Commitment and Conformity: Political Competence of Value Preservation in the U.S. Wireless Telegraphy Field.