Research Summary

Resource-Based Entrepreneurship

by Myra M. Hart


Myra M. Hart is investigating the relationship between an entrepreneur's industry-specific experience and the success of large-scale startups. Her work focuses on the links between the entrepreneur's knowledge and reputation resources-developed in the same or a closely related industry-and success in launching a new venture, maintaining organizational viability throughout the first five years, and reaching five-year financial targets. Hart's research is intended to enrich the understanding of entrepreneurial assets and skills that are significant determinants of new-venture success. It also extends the resource-based theory of the firm to newly forming organizations in which the entrepreneur and his or her resources can be considered synonymous with the firm. Field research and an extensive survey of entrepreneur participants in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum were used to develop an empirical database. Hart's findings suggest that replication is as important as innovation in founding large-scale new ventures, and that the entrepreneur's industry-related knowledge and reputation contribute substantially to a new venture's success, particularly as mediated by the venture partner's qualifications.