Composition of R&D teams along the life cycle of firms
A project team from Passau, Heilbronn and Frankfurt monitors several thousand German companies, which have been established since 1990. The researchers focus on the founders' role: Do they influence the innovative power of their company?
It is widely accepted knowledge, that founders of technology-intensive firms have a strong impact on the performance of their firms. So far, the literature on the life cycle of firms considers general changes in the role of founders when the firm progresses along the life cycle. However, it does not investigate consequences of the choice whether to remain active in research or to focus on the general management of the firm.
Given the high importance of emerging firms' success for the performance of national economies, a deeper understanding of how a continuing involvement of founders in the research process influences innovation output and firm success is warranted. We presume that founders influence in a subtle way path-dependency of research and development (R&D), recombination ability of diverse R&D team knowledge and the overall type and quality of R&D output. Moreover, we conjecture that the influence of founders on these aspects differs between intra-organizational and inter-organizational teams. We further investigate this influence of founders on R&D activity as well as on overall firm success along the life cycle of firms.
When firms progress along the life cycle, founder-inventors are increasingly challenged as they have to decide whether they will continue to be part of the inventor team or whether they focus their limited time on the general management of the company. We therefore investigate possible divisions of labor between founders and additional top management team members with respect to research and general management.
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Müller, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Firms, German Graduate School of Management & Law in Heilbronn
|Principal Investigator(s) at the University||Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler (Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre mit Schwerpunkt Organisation, Technologiemanagement und Entrepreneurship)|
|Project period||15.08.2014 - 30.10.2017|
|Source of funding|
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft > DFG - Sachbeihilfe