Abstract

In new venture performance research, initial resources have been increasingly investigated as determinants of success in the wake of the rise of the Resource-Based View. Even though much progress has been made in this area, important research gaps remain. A first is the neglect of interdependencies between initial resources. Black and Boal (1994) suggest that resources can be compensatory, enhancing or suppressing. The result is that the value of a resource for firm performance cannot be derived in isolation and can only be assessed in combination with other resources. Moreover, resource bundles form a greater source of competitive advantage in comparison to individual resources because their complexity and ambiguity makes them extremely difficult to imitate. A second gap is the neglect in current research of taking into account multiple contingencies in the initial resource-performance relationship. Configuration approaches suggest that resources should be matched to the firm’s strategy ánd environment to achieve superior performance. We address both gaps and investigate which organizational configurations, existing of three dimensions: resources, strategy and environment, can be associated with financially superior start-ups. We do so by means of the analytical technique of classification trees. Tree analysis provides an assessment, in sequence and in combination, of the resources, strategies and environmental characteristics that are associated with good performance results.

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