Abstract

Newness in an organizational context is defined as innate firm properties associated with the firm being unknown, unseasoned, and untried (Stinchcombe, 1965). Researchers have begun to complete work describing and prescribing strategic methods for managing both the benevolent and malevolent characteristics tied to newness as they relate to potential and existing customers (Baum & Oliver, 1991; Choi & Shepherd, 2005; Henderson, 1999). However, the opportunity to further test and explain how entrepreneurs can better ensure success at start-up and infancy is apparent.

Six characteristics associated with liabilities of newness exist in the literature. These include the lack of socio-political legitimacy, cognitive legitimacy, age, reliability, accountability and availability. Conversely, beneficial properties are said to exist which simplify and often further the efforts of new ventures. These two assets are organizational energy and flexibility. Until now, measurement tools were not available for researchers to use when investigating the importance of these liabilities and assets of newness in various contexts. As a result, we have developed measures for the eight aforementioned dimensions of newness and hope that these measures will serve those interested in supporting the chances of success during the nascent and early stages of firm development.

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