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Organizational Blueprints for Success in High-Tech Start-Ups: Lessons from the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies

Posted: 24 Nov 2009  

Michael Hannan

Stanford Graduate School of Business

James Baron

Independent

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

This longitudinal study examines nearly 200 high-technology start-ups in California's Silicon Valley, from 1994-2001. Evaluating interviews with founders and CEOs, the authors found that work and employment blueprints depended on variables such as: attachment, coordination/control, and selection. Using these three dimensions, a typology of employment blueprints consisting of the following five models: star, engineering, commitment, bureaucracy, and autocracy or direct control, is determined. Findings indicate that organizational blueprints vary among venture-based companies, and that changes occur from one pure model type to another, which, in turn, cause changes in senior management start-ups. The results of the research suggest that founders' employment models cause long-lasting effects on the company's endurance and performance; also, changes in organizational blueprints are destabilizing to young technology start-ups. The authors conclude by suggesting lessons for entrepreneurs and managers. (CBS)

Keywords: Stanford Project on Emerging Companies, Stanford University, Employment models, Executives, Founders, Corporate ventures, High technology firms, Organizational structures, Silicon Valley, Startups

Suggested Citation

Hannan, Michael and Baron, James, Organizational Blueprints for Success in High-Tech Start-Ups: Lessons from the Stanford Project on Emerging Companies (2002). California Management Review, Vol. 44, Issue 3, p. 8-36 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1511023

Michael Hannan (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-723-1511 (Phone)
650-725-7692 (Fax)

James N. Baron

Independent

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