Abstract

A growing body of research highlights that individuals with a broad set of skills and experiences are more likely to become entrepreneurs than those with a narrow base of knowledge, yet little is known about how breadth of knowledge affects start-up performance. In particular, extant theory generates contrasting accounts of this relationship, and the scant available evidence is inconclusive. Moreover, because this research tends to focus primarily on individual characteristics, it often ignores the social and contextual factors that may interact with founder human capital to influence outcomes in this regard. We seek to fill in this critical gap in knowledge by generating a framework that explores the impact of breadth of knowledge on new firm survival, both individually, and in conjunction with external knowledge and emotional support.

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