Abstract

There is a general consensus that high-tech start-ups are more often created by groups of people than by individuals (Francis & Sandberg 2000). Moreover, team started businesses account for a disproportionately larger number of fast-growing firms (Bird 1989). Despite its obvious importance to entrepreneurship research, a sizeable gap exists in the normative and empirical literature on the subject of start-up teams (Cooney 2005). As yet, our knowledge about the relationship between team heterogeneity and firm performance is sparse and inconsistent. Heterogeneous teams are regarded as more effective in solving complex, non-routine problems (Chowdhury 2005), while at the same time scholars suggest that homogeneity of venture teams may lead to better outcomes given that team members are more likely to share a common language and knowledge base (Jackson et al. 1991). We add to this burgeoning literature by focusing on the influence of four indicators of a team’s functional heterogeneity on several measures of new venture performance.

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