Small Business Economics

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 229–255 | Cite as

Does venture opportunity variation matter? Investigating systematic process differences between innovative and imitative new ventures

  • Mikael Samuelsson
  • Per Davidsson


The central thesis in the article is that the venture creation process is different for innovative versus imitative ventures. This holds up; the pace of the process differs by type of venture as do, in line with theory-based hypotheses, the effects of certain human capital (HC) and social capital (SC) predictors. Importantly, and somewhat unexpectedly, the theoretically derived models using HC, SC, and certain controls are relatively successful explaining progress in the creation process for the minority of innovative ventures, but achieve very limited success for the imitative majority. This may be due to a rationalistic bias in conventional theorizing and suggests that there is need for considerable theoretical development regarding the important phenomenon of new venture creation processes. Another important result is that the building up of instrumental social capital, which we assess comprehensively and as a time variant construct, is important for making progress with both types of ventures, and increasingly, so as the process progresses. This result corroborates with stronger operationalization and more appropriate analysis method what previously published research has only been able to hint at.


Entrepreneurship New venture creation Venture opportunity variation Longitudinal Growth Modelling 

JEL Classifications



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Jönköping International Business SchoolJönköpingSweden
  3. 3.Brisbane Graduate School of BusinessQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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