Abstract

In this project, building on earlier studies of human resource issues in entrepreneurial firms, we explore the dynamic relationship between the founder(s) and key employee(s): How do key employees become “critical”? By what process does an employee’s role evolve? How do entrepreneurs respond to such role evolution? How will entrepreneurs deal with importance of the key employees and the risk that a key employee’s departure might seriously damage the company? On the other hand, how do key employees perceive their own jobs and the dynamics with the founder(s) of the firm? What are the factors that motivate them to stay or leave?

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