Help Me Do it on My Own: How Entrepreneurs Manage Autonomy and Constraint within Incubator Organizations
Research in the Sociology of Organizations, volume 47, (2016) Forthcoming
42 Pages Posted: 27 May 2016
Date Written: 2016
Scholars have studied how entrepreneurs acquire resources but have not examined how resources may be bundled with constraints, which can threaten entrepreneurial autonomy. Organizational sponsors, such as incubators and accelerators, provide entrepreneurs with resources, but how do entrepreneurs sustain autonomy while seeking resources and support? We studied five entrepreneurial firms in a business incubator over a six-month period. While benefiting from incubator resources, entrepreneurs also experienced unexpected constraints, including mentor role conflict, gatekeeper control, and affiliation dissonance. By showing how entrepreneurs unbundled the incubator’s resources from constraints, we explain how entrepreneurs manage the tension between acquiring resources and preserving autonomy.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial autonomy, entrepreneurship, sponsoring organizations, business incubators, resource acquisition
JEL Classification: M13, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation