Other Unpublished Work | 2011

From Farms to Fuel Tanks: Collective Actors and New-Venture Innovation in the U.S. Biodiesel Fuel Sector

by Shon R. Hiatt

Abstract

Little is known about the influence of collective actors on innovative technological recombinations by new ventures. Using data from U.S. biodiesel producers, I examine how the efforts of multiple collective actors (farm associations) to promote varying types of technologies fostered new-venture innovation by bridging domains. Different farm associations transmitted various fuel-production technologies from the agricultural and academic domains to business arenas where entrepreneurs could evaluate and recombine them. A greater variety of collective actors in a given state resulted in higher founding rates for new ventures with recombinatorial technologies. The effect of multiple collective actors on new-venture innovation was also moderated by venture size, media coverage of collective-actor mobilization, the presence of knowledgeable university actors who could assist in firms' recombinatorial processes, and opposition to such technologies from environmental-movement organizations.

Keywords: Alliances; Agribusiness; Energy Sources; Innovation and Invention; Biotechnology Industry; Green Technology Industry; Energy Industry; United States;

Citation:

Hiatt, Shon R. "From Farms to Fuel Tanks: Collective Actors and New-Venture Innovation in the U.S. Biodiesel Fuel Sector." 2011.