Born global and well educated: start-up survival through fuzzy set analysis

  • Nicola Del SartoEmail author
  • Alberto Di Minin
  • Giulio Ferrigno
  • Andrea Piccaluga


Although start-ups’ survival has been widely investigated, only few studies have focussed on the impact of the combined effect of firms’ internal resources. Drawing upon the resource-based view (RBV), we selected four internal resources influencing start-ups’ survival (R&D activity, advertising activity, export activity, and human capital) and we applied the fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to examine which interactions among the said internal resources affect start-ups’ survival. We used a unique dataset of 38 start-ups accelerated in Italy in 2013. Our findings suggest that, among the various combinations of internal resources considered, the interaction between export activity and human capital is the only one that affects start-ups’ survival. On one hand, the interaction between these two resources amplifies the effect of the learning by exporting on start-ups’ survival. On the other hand, export activity provides the knowledge necessary to exploit the potential of qualified human capital.


fsQCA Resource-based view of the firm Start-ups Firm survival And Italy 

JEL classifications

L21 L26 M13 



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Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Del Sarto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto Di Minin
    • 1
  • Giulio Ferrigno
    • 1
  • Andrea Piccaluga
    • 1
  1. 1.Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Institute of ManagementPisaItaly

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