What drives eEmployees to start new businesses? Three essays on employee entrepreneurship

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Yeganegi Abarghoei, Sedigheh
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As the most prevalent form of entrepreneurial entry, employee entrepreneurship is worthy of careful consideration—especially since independent businesses created by employees frequently out-perform inexperienced start-ups. Employee entrepreneurship is emerging as a new area of research, receiving increasing attention from a broad spectrum of scholars in entrepreneurship, strategy, and industrial economics. This three-essay dissertation addresses four major gaps in the literature on employee entrepreneurship: the first gap refers to the fragmented state of the research literature (addressed in the first essay); the second is the dearth of empirical research on the moderating effects of institutions (addressed in the second essay); the third gap is the lack of empirical studies investigating whether related or unrelated experiences lead employees to pursue entrepreneurial ventures (also addressed in the second essay); and the fourth is the lack of empirical studies investigating the nature of the knowledge that employees acquire from their parent firms. The first essay in the dissertation is a conceptual paper that reviews the literature, develops a multi-level integrated framework, and suggests avenues for future research. The second essay investigates how employees’ experiences with activities related/unrelated to the core technologies of their employers’ firms and institutional factors (i.e., intellectual property rights and venture capital availability) affect the likelihood of new business creation by employees. This essay also studies the moderating effects of institutional factors on the relationship between technology relatedness and the likelihood of employee entrepreneurship. The third essay examines the effects of employees’ prior ambidexterity experiences, which include both exploration and exploitation experiences in their employers’ firms, on the likelihood of employees becoming entrepreneurs. Together, the three essays help to advance the literature by exploring previously neglected areas of research.
Employee entrepreneurship, spinouts