Entrepreneurship

The affective roots of resource heterogeneity: How founders' emotion regulation helps create social resources in startups

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Where do firms' heterogeneous resources come from? Our qualitative, inductive study of nascent firms over seven years revealed that founders' differential use of emotion regulation behaviors can explain differential creation of social resources at the firm level. We found that founders' emotion regulation behaviors cluster around three themes: 1) the founder's temporal perspective (short-term versus long-term); 2) the nature of founder benefits (economic versus emotional rewards), and 3) the target of founder attention (self versus others). We theorize that founders' emotion regulation behaviors according to these themes influence the incentives of founders and stakeholders and thereby enable the creation of valuable and difficult-to-imitate social resources for their ventures. Social resources include discretionary support provided by founders and stakeholders, as well as founder persistence and stakeholder willingness-to-help. Our study contributes to the strategy literature by showing empirically the link between specific emotion regulation behaviors and the emergence of resource heterogeneity at the firm level. It specifically contributes to resource-based theory by separating the theory's main assumptions and outcomes, reducing concerns about potential tautology.
Bibliographic citation: Zott, Christoph; Huy, Quy, "The affective roots of resource heterogeneity: How founders' emotion regulation helps create social resources in startups", IESE, DI-871-E, 07/2010
Date: 07/2010
Author(s): Zott, Christoph; Huy, Quy
Document type: Working Paper
Languages: English