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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Jan 14, 2022

Going Alone or Together? A Configurational Analysis of Solo Founding vs. Cofounding

Abstract

Research and practice suggest that cofounded ventures outperform solo-founded ventures. Yet, little work has explored the conditions under which solo founding might be preferable to cofounding. 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 cofounded ventures. We find that successful solo founders strategically use a set of cocreators rather than cofounders 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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