Abstract

Within the field of new ventures, the rhetoric has drifted to a state of conceptual confusion between entrepreneurship and innovation. Not all entrepreneurs are innovators, therefore, an emerging challenge in this field is to clarify the conceptual difference, the boundaries and the relationship between these two distinct constructs, by answering the following research questions. Do innovative choices matter for the success of entrepreneurs? What are the underlying causal factors that affect innovative choices of entrepreneurs? In this study, we argue that innovative new ventures are more likely to be successful. We found considerable variance in the degree of innovation and new entrant success. Innovativeness was measured using both the novelty and the types of innovation originated and adopted by entrepreneurs. We tested hypotheses incorporating social learning theory (vicarious acquisition of behaviors, Bandura, 1976) and the tournament model (Forbes, 1987) to predict the innovativeness of entrepreneurs. For vicarious learning, we used early learning experiences and for tournament theory we used early career successes.

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