Situating the Construct of Lean Startup: Adjacent 'Conversations' and Possible Future Directions

36 Pages Posted: 15 May 2018

See all articles by Daniel Levinthal

Daniel Levinthal

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Andrea Contigiani

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: January 7, 2018

Abstract

The lean startup approach has garnered tremendous amount of interest in recent years and has become mainstream among entrepreneurs. However, this practitioners’ conversation has been largely decoupled from the broader academic literature in management and technology strategy. This paper attempts to fill this gap. We situate the construct of lean startup within its underlying roots in the research traditions of organizational learning, real options, new product development, and technology evolution. We then comment on the economic and technological forces that have caused this organizational form to become prevalent. By juxtaposing these related, but distinct, lines of research we are able to identify a number of novel and interesting avenues for researchers in both entrepreneurship and the broader management literature that lie at the intersection of these domains.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, Organizational Learning, Real Options, New Product Development

JEL Classification: L26, D83, L1, L2, D2, M1

Suggested Citation

Levinthal, Daniel A. and Contigiani, Andrea, Situating the Construct of Lean Startup: Adjacent 'Conversations' and Possible Future Directions (January 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3174799 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3174799

Daniel A. Levinthal (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States
215-898-6826 (Phone)
215-898-0401 (Fax)

Andrea Contigiani

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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