PhD Defence Eva de Mol

Mol, Eva de

Organisational Behaviour + Strategy & Organisation

Dissertation title
Heart and Brain: The influence of affective and rational determinants in new venture teams: An empirical examination

Date and Location
October 28, 2016 at 11:45
in the Aula of the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Heart and Brain: The influence of affective and rational determinants in new venture teams: An empirical examination

Mol, Eva deThe majority of the new venture teams fail within their first year of founding. It is therefore important to understand what drives new venture team performance. After decades of a scholarly focus on rational determinants of new venture performance, such as human capital, feelings and emotions have become increasingly recognized as key drivers of new venture success. While existing work has significantly improved our understanding of these affective determinants, it has focused predominantly on individual entrepreneurs, and has neglected the reality that the majority of the new ventures is founded and led by teams, rather than by individuals. Resulting from this lack of integrating an affective perspective in new venture team research, our scholarly knowledge of how affective and rational determinants interplay in predicting performance remains limited. The current study contributes to this debate by developing an integrative research framework that examines the influence of new venture team affective and rational inputs, and new venture team processes, on new venture outcomes. Original hypotheses relating to these three research themes are tested by using two unique datasets collected among USA based entrepreneurs, and new venture teams participating in a Dutch accelerator program. Results demonstrate that the best performing new ventures combine affective inputs, including entrepreneurial passion, and rational inputs, including human capital, that contribute to beneficial new venture outcomes. Results also indicate that new venture teams can leverage venture performance through participating in team processes and emergent states, such as strategic consensus and entrepreneurial team cognition. Finally, findings reveal a dysfunctional side of passion by showing that its effects are highly conditional on the type of passion that entrepreneurs experience and the composition of the team.

Short Biography

Eva de Mol (1984) completed her PhD at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the VU University Amsterdam. Inspired to build a bridge between entrepreneurship and science, her dissertation offers a new approach to understanding entrepreneurial team composition and venture performance. During her PhD, Eva worked as a visiting scholar at Berkeley Haas Business School, California, where she created a valuable network of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and researchers with whom she discussed the implications of her work. Eva’s main research interests are entrepreneurship, technology, and venture capital financing.