Human resource flexibility and strong ties in entrepreneurial teams

Roxanne Zolin, Andreas Kuckertz*, Teemu Kautonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Human resource flexibility is important in entrepreneurial ventures that need to respond to the changing challenges of growing the new business. This research investigates the impact of previously well-known people (strong ties) as entrepreneurial team members on the human resource flexibility of new ventures. Data collected from German founding entrepreneurs in technology-oriented, incubator-based firms shows that choosing a well known individual to join the entrepreneurial team increases the founder's ability to modify the team member's work role, but complicates asking the team member to leave the team if required. Hence, strong ties both increase and reduce human resource flexibility. However, the effect of strong ties on role modifiability is statistically significant only with novice entrepreneurs. These research findings counsel founders to discuss role modification and exit during partnership and entrepreneurial team membership negotiations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Entrepreneurial team
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Habitual entrepreneurs
  • Novice entrepreneurs
  • Resource flexibility

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