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SELECTING CORPORATE FIRMS FOR COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION: ENTREPRENEURIAL DECISION MAKING IN ASYMMETRIC PARTNERSHIPS

    Large companies increasingly look for collaborations with new ventures to accelerate their innovation process, and researchers stress the potential of such partnerships to develop innovations. But when are entrepreneurs willing to engage in a partnership with a larger player? We seek to understand when founders of new ventures are willing to engage in such asymmetric partnerships through consideration of the characteristics of the entrepreneurial decision maker and the perceived attributes of the larger counterpart. The results of a conjoint experiment with 115 startup entrepreneurs suggest that among the partner selection criteria a high level of openness on the part of the large corporate company and concise contractual design signal trustworthiness to entrepreneurs, which has a positive impact on their willingness to engage in collaborative innovation. Our study also suggests that entrepreneurs’ self-efficacy reduces the willingness to partner and the positive impact of concise contractual designs. The results have implications for the self-concept and design of innovation and partner management of large firms, and for entrepreneurs who consider asymmetric partnerships a growth opportunity.

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    Published: 21 January 2019
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