Abstract

A fundamental task of new firms is to assemble the resource-base needed to generate and appropriate rents from an opportunity. But how do emerging firms develop their resource-based capabilities in the first place? This is a question that has received surprisingly little research attention. Some early case study insights suggest that emerging firms must transform their initial human, social, financial capitals into organisational capabilities. Traditional strategy perspectives theorise that firms must acquire, bundle and deploy resources. Other approaches to resource development include bootstrapping and more recently effectuation and bricolage. Notwithstanding these valuable research contributions, we were unable to identify any large-scale empirical studies that directly examined the evolution of resource-based capabilities of early-stage ventures over time. Since many theoretical insights have been provided, but a mature, comprehensive theory is yet to emerge, theoretical development can be regarded as intermediate. Consequently we seek to provide an empirical, quantitative exploration of this important phenomenon.

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