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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Nov 14, 2021

Going Alone or Together? A Configurational Analysis of Solo Founding vs Co-founding

Abstract

Research and practice suggest that co-founded ventures outperform solo-founded ventures on average. Yet, little work has explored the conditions under which solo founding might be possible or even preferable to co-founding. Combining an inductive case-oriented analysis with a Qualitative Comparative Analysis of 70 new entrepreneurial ventures, we examine why and how solo founders can be as successful as their peers in co-founded ventures. We find that successful solo founders strategically use a set of co-creators rather than co-founders to overcome liabilities, retain control, and mobilize resources in unique and unexpected ways. A primary contribution of this paper is an emergent configurational theory of entrepreneurial organizing. Overall, we reveal the broader significance and theoretical importance of adopting a configurational lens for both practitioners and scholars of entrepreneurship.


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