Abstract

This research conceptualises portfolio entrepreneurship (Carter 1998; Iacobucci & Rosa 2003) as a “loosely coupled system” (Orton & Weick 1990). A “system” is a set of interacting units with relationships among them, where the state of each unit is constrained by, conditioned by, or dependent on the state of other units (Miller 1978). “Loose coupling” draws attention to looseness in interdependencies between units – to processes rather than just “things”. Thus, a loosely coupled system is characterized by the determinacy and predictability arising from tight coupling between elements, and the indeterminacy and unpredictability arising from loose coupling (Beekun & Glick 2001). The study explores the causes and the organizational outcomes of loose coupling in portfolio entrepreneurship in terms of new venture creation (including international new ventures), survival, growth and demise.

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