The Role Models as Determinants of New Technology-Based Firms: An Exploratory Study

The Role Models as Determinants of New Technology-Based Firms: An Exploratory Study

Guillermo Andrés Zapata Huamaní (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Sara Fernández-López (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Isabel Neira Gómez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Lucía Rey-Ares (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain), María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías (Universidade da Coruña, Spain) and David Rodeiro-Pazos (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2936-1.ch013
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Abstract

The new technology-based firms (NTBF) are a key element of economic growth, and therefore, understanding NTBF´s driving forces becomes a particularly important field of study. Relatively few studies have addressed the analysis of the determinants of technology entrepreneurship (TE), and those that did, have paid more attention to institutional or external factors (Aceytuno & de Paz, 2008). Role models have received less attention but seem to play a determinant role regarding TE (Venkataraman, 2004). The present chapter aims to analyse whether these role models and its proximity to potential entrepreneurs influence the NTBF creation. Using a sample of 65 countries over the period 2006-2013, we apply panel data random effect models. Overall, empirical evidence revealed that the variables media attention on entrepreneurship and personally know an entrepreneur exert significant influence on TE.
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Introduction

Economic studies on entrepreneurship highlight the contribution of the entrepreneurial phenomenon on economic growth. However, these positive effects are not necessarily linked to any entrepreneurial initiative, but could be strongly linked to quality or type of entrepreneurship. In particular, when the study of entrepreneurship is framed in the context of the knowledge economy, the analysis of new technology-based firms (NTBF) is of special interest as they are seen as an effective mechanism in the creation and development of economies (Audretsch, 1995; Bertoni, Colombo & Grilli, 2011). Moreover, NTBFs are frequently seen as a panacea for boosting economic growth in modern economies (Coad & Reid, 2012). At an individual level, technology entrepreneurs are also regarded as key actors in the creation and exploitations of new knowledge (Coad & Reid, 2012; Evers, Cunningham, & Hoholm, 2014). Their contributions can be summarised into four important points: help turning innovative ideas into economic opportunities; generate competitiveness; create jobs and increase productivity (Kantis, Ishida, & Komori, 2002). Therefore, the factors that influence the creation and performance of NTBFs have increasingly attracted the attention of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers (Colombo & Grilli, 2010; Rodríguez-Gulías, Fernández-López, & Rodeiro-Pazos, 2016). While the bulk of the empirical analyses on the determinants of start-up activity have been focused on ‘conventional’ entrepreneurship, very few studies have properly addressed the analysis of the determinants of technological entrepreneurship (TE) (see Xue & Klein, 2010; Mosey, Guerrero, & Greenman, 2017; Zapata-Huamaní, Fernández-López, Neira-Gómez, 2014a, 2014b).

A stream of the literature on entrepreneurship focuses on institutional or external factors as drivers of firm creation (Aceytuno & de Paz, 2008), given that the capabilities of TE transcend individuals and companies, which, in turn, are conditioned by the context (Colovic & Lamotte, 2015; Minniti & Lévesque, 2008; Shane & Venkataraman, 2003; Stuart & Sorenson, 2003). These works can help in explaining the persistence of differences in entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurial attitude across nations and regions (Bosma & Schutjens, 2011). In spite of this evidence, few studies have explored entrepreneurship under the lens of institutional approach (Autio & Acs, 2010). More specifically, within the informal institutions that influence start-up activities, typically based on cultural values and attitudes, the importance of role models as driver forces of entrepreneurship has been often neglected in the empirical analyses (Bosma, Hessels, Schutjens, Van Praag, & Verheul, 2012).

This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature on TE. Using a sample of 65 countries over the period 2006-2013, we apply panel data random effect models to analyse whether the role models and its proximity to potential entrepreneurs influence the NTBF creation. In so doing, this paper contributes to the discussion of the role played by cultural values in start-up activity. At a scientific level, empirical research aimed at analysing the importance of role models for (nascent) entrepreneurs is scarce (Bosma et al., 2012). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that addresses this issue focusing on TE. At a policy level, the creation of this kind of firm has often been linked to economic growth and usually supported by public policies at both national and regional level. Knowing how cultural values such as role models, as well as its proximity to the potential entrepreneurs, might influence NTBF creation could help policy-makers to design supportive policies.

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