3 Starting Up: Relating to a Context in Motion

  • Antonella La Rocca
  • Ivan Snehota
  • Debbie Harrison


The odds that a start-up succeeds are low. The risk of failure during the first three years is estimated at 85 %; statistics show that only a few newly started businesses survive more than a handful of years (Short, McKelvie, Ketchen, & Chandler, 2009). Despite these odds, the number of entrepreneurs who want to start their own business continues to grow, and the interest among policy makers and investors remains. Since such unfavourable statistics persist, despite research on entrepreneurship and the support which start-ups receive, our understanding and knowledge about the process of establishing and developing a new business venture is apparently rather limited or not fully relevant. Following a certain tradition in new venturing studies (Gartner, 1985), in this chapter we use the notion of ‘start-up’ when we refer to the pre-organizational stage, and that of ‘new business venture’ when the enterprise acquires the features of an organized activity system (drawing a clear line is of course arbitrary but this is not really central to our purpose in this chapter).


Digital Medium Business Network Business Relationship Business Venture Network Position 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aaboen, L., Dubois, A., & Lind, F. (2011). Start-ups starting up—Firms looking for a network. The IMP Journal, 5(1), 42–58.Google Scholar
  2. Aegis Media. (2013). Global advertising expenditure report. London: Aegis Media.Google Scholar
  3. Ambos, T. C., & Birkinshaw, J. (2010). How do ventures evolve? An inductive study of the process of charter change in technology ventures. Organization Science, 21(6), 1125–1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Araujo, L., Dubois, A., & Gadde, L.-E. (2003). The multiple boundaries of the firm. Journal of Management Studies, 40(5), 1255–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asanuma, B. (1989). Manufacturer-supplier relationships in Japan and the concept of relation-specific skill. Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 16(2), 194–211.Google Scholar
  6. Axelsson, B. (1992). Corporate strategy models and networks—Diverging perspectives. In B. Axelsson & G. Easton (Eds.), Industrial networks—A new view of reality (pp. 84–204). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Baraldi, E. (2003). When information technology faces resource interaction: Using IT tools to handle products at IKEA and Edsbyn. Dissertation, Uppsala University, Uppsala.Google Scholar
  8. Baron, R. A., & Ward, T. B. (2004). Expanding entrepreneurial cognition’s toolbox: Potential contributions from the field of cognitive science. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(6), 553–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brennan, R., & Turnbull, P. W. (1999). Adaptive behavior in buyer-supplier relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 28(5), 481–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ciabuschi, F., Perna, A., & Snehota, I. (2012). Assembling resources when new business is forming. Journal of Business Research, 65(2), 220–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cornelissen, J. P., & Clarke, J. S. (2010). Imagining and rationalizing opportunities inductive reasoning and the creation and justification of new ventures. Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 539–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coviello, N. E., & Joseph, R. M. (2012). Creating major innovations with customers: Insights from small and young technology firms. Journal of Marketing, 76(6), 87–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dubois, A. (1998). Organizing activities across firm boundaries. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Easton, G., & Araujo, L. (1989). The network approach: An articulation. In S. T. Cavusgil, L. Hallen, & J. Johanson (Eds.), Advances in international marketing (Vol. 3, pp. 97–119). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  15. Easton, G., & Lundgren, A. (1992). Changes in industrial networks as flow through nodes. In B. Axelsson & G. Easton (Eds.), Industrial networks—A new view of reality (pp. 89–104). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Gadde, L.-E., Hjelmgren, D., & Skarp, F. (2012). Interactive resource development in new business relationships. Journal of Business Research, 65(2), 210–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gadde, L.-E., & Mattsson, L.-G. (1987). Stability and change in network relationships. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 4(1), 29–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gartner, W. B. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture Creation. The Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 696–706.Google Scholar
  19. Håkansson, H., & Ford, D. (2002). How should companies interact in business networks? Journal of Business Research, 55(2), 133–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Håkansson, H., & Waluszewski, A. (2002). Managing technological development—IKEA, the environment and technology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Håkansson, H., Ford, D., Gadde, L.-E., Snehota, I., & Waluszewski, A. (2009). Business in networks. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  22. Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (1989). No business is an island: The network concept of business strategy. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 5(3), 187–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (Eds.). (1995). Developing relationships in business networks. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (2006). No business is an island: The network concept of business strategy. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 22(3), 256–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Håkansson, H., & Waluszewski, A. (Eds.). (2007). Knowledge and innovation in business and industry. The importance of using others. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Hallén, L., Johanson, J., & Seyed-Mohamed, N. (1991). Inter-firm adaptation in business relationships. Journal of Marketing, 55, 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Højbjerg Clarke, A., Freytag, P.V., La Rocca, A., & Snehota, I. (2014). Jockeying for a position in a business network in motion: Cases from advertising industry. Paper Presented at the 30th IMP Conference, Bordeaux, France.Google Scholar
  28. Holmen, E., & Pedersen, A.-C. (2003). Strategizing through analyzing and influencing the network horizon. Industrial Marketing Management, 32(5), 409–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ingemansson, M., & Waluszewski, A. (2009). The relative benefits of an innovation: Its appearance in the academic, venture capital and user setting. The IMP Journal, 3(2), 20–56.Google Scholar
  30. Jensen, M., Kim, B. K., & Kim, H. (2011). The importance of status in markets: A market identity perspective. In J. L. Pearce (Ed.), Status in management and organizations (pp. 87–113). Cambridge, UK: University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Johanson, J., & Mattson, L.-G. (1992). Network positions and strategic action—An analytical framework. In B. Axelsson and G. Easton (Eds.), Industrial networks—A new view of reality (pp. 205–217). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. (2011). Markets as networks: Implications for strategy-making. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(4), 484–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Knight, F. (1922). Risk, uncertainty, and profit. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  34. Kragh, H., & Houman Andersen, P. (2009). Picture this: Managed change and resistance in business network settings. Industrial Marketing management, 38(6), 641–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. La Rocca, A. (2011). Interaction and actors’ identities in business relationships. Dissertation, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano.Google Scholar
  36. La Rocca, A., Ford, D., & Snehota, I. (2013). Initial relationship development in new business ventures. Industrial Marketing Management, 42(7), 1025–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. La Rocca, A., & Perna, A. (2014). New venture acquiring position in an existing network. The IMP Journal, 8(2), 28–37.Google Scholar
  38. La Rocca, A., & Snehota, I. (2014). Relating in business networks: Innovation in practice. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(3), 441–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. La Rocca, A., & Snehota, I. (2016). Corporate associations in B2B: Coping with multiple relationship-specific identities. IMP Journal, 10(1), 172–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. La Rocca, A., Snehota, I., & Trabattoni, C. (2015). Construction of meanings in business relationships and networks. The IMP Journal, 9(2), 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mattsson, L.-G. (1989). Development of firms in networks: Positions and investments. Advances in International Marketing, 3, 121–139.Google Scholar
  42. Onyemah, V., Rivera Pesquera, M., & Ali, A. (2013). What entrepreneurs get wrong. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 74–79.Google Scholar
  43. Penrose, E. (1959). The theory of the growth of the firm. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Read, S., Dew, N., Sarasvathy, S. D., Song, M., & Wiltbank, R. (2009). Marketing under uncertainty: The logic of an effectual approach. Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reger, R. K., & Palmer, T. B. (1996). Managerial categorization of competitors: Using old maps to navigate new environments. Organization Science, 7(1), 22–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sarasvathy, S. (2008). Effectuation: Elements of entrepreneurial expertise. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., & Ventresca, M. J. (2009). Unpacking entrepreneurship as collective activity: Opportunities, activity and context. In G. T. Lumpkin & J. A. Katz (Eds.), Entrepreneurial strategic content (advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth) (Vol. 11, pp. 261–281). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Short, J. C., McKelvie, A., Ketchen, D. J., & Chandler, G. N. (2009). Firm and industry effects on firm performance: A generalization and extension for new ventures. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(1), 47–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Snehota, I. (2011). New business formation in business networks. The IMP Journal, 5(1), 1–10.Google Scholar
  50. Tolman, E. C. (1952). A theoretical analysis of the relations between sociology and psychology. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 47(Suppl 2), 291–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tsoukas, H., & Chia, R. (2002). On organizational becoming: Rethinking organizational change. Organisation Science, 13(5), 567–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tuli, K. R., Kohli, A. K., & Bharadwaj, S. G. (2007). Rethinking customer solutions: From product bundless to relational processes. Journal of Marketing, 71(3), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Veblen, T. (1904). The theory of the business enterprise. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella La Rocca
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ivan Snehota
    • 3
  • Debbie Harrison
    • 4
  1. 1.Health Services Research CentreAkershus University HospitalLørenskogNorway
  2. 2.Department of Innovation and Economic OrganizationBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway
  3. 3.Institute of Marketing and Communication ManagementUniversità della Svizzera italianaOsloSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of StrategyBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations