Small Business Economics

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 727–743 | Cite as

Birds of a feather get lost together: new venture team composition and performance

  • Paul SteffensEmail author
  • Siri Terjesen
  • Per Davidsson


This study explores the relationship between new venture team composition and new venture persistence and performance over time. We examine the team characteristics of a 5-year panel study of 202 new venture teams and new venture performance. Our study makes two contributions. First, we extend earlier research concerning homophily theories of the prevalence of homogeneous teams. Using structural event analysis we demonstrate that team members’ start-up experience is important in this context. Second, we attempt to reconcile conflicting evidence concerning the influence of team homogeneity on performance by considering the element of time. We hypothesize that higher team homogeneity is positively related to short term outcomes, but is less effective in the longer term. Our results confirm a difference over time. We find that more homogeneous teams are less likely to be higher performing in the long term. However, we find no relationship between team homogeneity and short-term performance outcomes.


New venture teams Homophily Team homogeneity Team heterogeneity Team diversity New venture performance 

JEL Classifications

L26 M12 

Supplementary material

11187_2011_9358_MOESM1_ESM.doc (73 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 73 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business SchoolQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Kelley School of BusinessIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Jonkoping International Business SchoolJönköpingSweden

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