Organizational resources, industry membership, and firm performance: the role of capability formation and use in value creation for IPO-stage new ventures
Holcomb, Timothy R.
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A widely held belief is that resource constraints and industry conditions pose severe threats to the performance of entrepreneurial firms. While previous research links resources controlled by these firms to different performance outcomes, extant research on organizational performance often assumes away contextual differences in the allocation of scarce resources by firms to develop and leverage different organizational capabilities. Further, no research has explored the performance implications of resource use, especially for new ventures. The purpose of this study is to bring capabilities to the foreground in the examination of organizational performance for new ventures following an initial public offering (IPO). Building from resource-based theory and contingency theory, I examine the indirect (through capability formation and use) effects that occur within the ?black box? between resources and performance for a sample of entrepreneurial firms undertaking an IPO. New theory is offered to explain the formation and performance outcomes of two configurations of organizational capabilities: market-managing capabilities and market-creating capabilities. Human capital is considered, bringing agency into theory explaining capability formation and use. Further, I consider how underlying routines allow resources to be managed for greater value across different industries?conditions that make resources valuable in some contexts and not in others. I find that resource endowments at IPO affect the formation and use of organizational capabilities and that this relationship varies across different industry contexts. Further, I find support for the indirect effect of resources on performance outcomes through capability formation and use. More specifically, I find that adjustments to the configuration of organizational capabilities affect performance prospects over time. Results confirm that capability configurations compete for scarce resources, necessitating tradeoffs in allocation decisions between them. I also find that industry conditions moderate this relationship. By employing an integrative, multidisciplinary approach, this dissertation extends research on the performance effects of resource endowments and capability formation and use for entrepreneurial firms. Further, it contributes to growing research on IPO firms in strategic management and entrepreneurship, especially theoretical and empirical research examining the different firm and industry conditions that affect organizational performance during the period following a firm?s transition into the public arena.