This research project aims to open up a novel perspective on business activity by systematically investigating the unfolding dynamics in entrepreneurial groups. We define entrepreneurial groups as a small number of individuals jointly engaged in a future-changing project. It is through their collective activities (such as drafting a business plan, gathering resources, recruiting customers, etc.) that the entrepreneurial group arises as collective actor with entrepreneurial and innovative capacity.

In our research, we strive to understand the trajectory of such groups and key transitional phases. For example, we want to learn what makes entrepreneurial groups enduring and how they collectively disengage from their project. These insights contribute towards drafting a theory of entrepreneurial group dynamics, which enhances our understanding of the social embeddedness of entrepreneurship.   

Theory building rests upon an iterative process between conducting and analyzing data. More specifically, we conduct three empirical studies that in their ensemble further theory development.

Find out more about our empirical studies:

SP 1 - Crowdsourcing a data set on long-term entrepreneurial group development

SP 2 - Implementing imagined future: Innovation projects in entrepreneurial groups

SP 3 - Time for departure – Exit strategies of entrepreneurial group

SP 4 - Data Traces - Didactic Crowd Science


Expected Results and Impact

- The research project introduces a highly innovative approach that will considerably advance our understandings of the social embeddedness of entrepreneurship.

- It further features the first longitudinal and multi-level dataset that allows researchers to track entrepreneurial groups from their inception, over an up to twenty-year timespan.

- We will provide a typology of entrepreneurial groups, typical patterns of negotiating imagined features and draft disbanding scenarios.

- Beyond academia, the generated findings will alert the policy-discourse to the needs of experienced entrepreneurial groups to successfully nurture entrepreneurial activity over time and suggest new ways of supporting them.

- On a methodological level, the daring research design explores new avenues to elegantly combine data-collection and student learning.

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