New to the Game and Questioning the Rules: The Experiences and Beliefs of Founders who Start Imitative Versus Innovative Firms

Posted: 5 Jun 2013

See all articles by Jennifer Jennings

Jennifer Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Royston Greenwood

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: September 1, 2005

Abstract

This paper examines how founders' work experiences and beliefs about an industry's prevailing practices influence the degree of novelty exhibited by their firms. Our results indicate that extensive experience in the core of an organizational field constrains individuals into acting as "imitative entrepreneurs," essentially reproducing established routines even if they question their legitimacy. In contrast, founders with greater experience in the field's periphery are more likely to act as “innovative entrepreneurs,” as are those who more strongly question the ethicality of prevailing practices. Doubts about the functionality of established routines are not sufficient, on their own, to provoke acts of innovative entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Innovative entrepreneurship, Organizational creation, Opportunity recognition, Organizational design, institutional theory

Suggested Citation

Jennings, Jennifer and Jennings, P. Devereaux and Greenwood, Royston, New to the Game and Questioning the Rules: The Experiences and Beliefs of Founders who Start Imitative Versus Innovative Firms (September 1, 2005). Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 21, No. 5, 2006; University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-509. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274375

Jennifer Jennings (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Royston Greenwood

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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