2nd Developmental Workshop on Entrepreneurial Teams and Collective Entrepreneurship Research


Call for Papers

IÉSEG School of Management, 18-19 September, 2017, Paris, France


While it has been 40 years since Jeffry A. Timmons wrote about entrepreneurial teams and wondered whether they were ‘an American dream or nightmare?’ (Timmons, 1975), research into this topic remains relatively recent. Indeed, it was the late 1980s-early 1990s before Reich (1987) urged us to “celebrate collective entrepreneurship” and Kamm and her colleagues published their seminal research agenda on entrepreneurial teams (Kamm et al. 1990). However, research relating to entrepreneurial teams is now picking up momentum, with journal special issues (International Small Business Journal, June 2005; Management Research News, 2009; Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, January 2013), literature reviews and conference tracks on the topic increasingly visible.

This pattern is consistent with the history of entrepreneurship research that has been long marked by the reification of the phenomenon in a deus ex machina entrepreneur or lone hero. However, the collective reality of entrepreneurship and, more specifically the importance of team entrepreneurship, could not be overlooked much longer. It has become increasingly difficult to keep neglecting the quantitative and qualitative importance of entrepreneurial teams as most new ventures are now team based (at least one-half and up to 79.1 per cent in a recent survey of European start-ups) (Aldrich et al. 2004; Kollmann et al. 2016; Lechler 2001; Ruef 2010; Watson et al. 1995), and some research has shown that they tend to register superior performance (e.g., growth) to their solo counterparts (Birley and Stockley 2000; OECD 2003).

What are the movements that are occurring in developing an understanding of entrepreneurial teams? In seeking to capture the signals of the current evolutions of entrepreneurial teams research, Ben-Hafaïedh (2017) identified three main trends. First, formation is key. By recognizing the specificities of entrepreneurial teams with regard to other organizational teams (e.g., the unique nature of the new venture context (Klotz et al. 2014), the fact that entrepreneurial teams are naturally occurring rather than constructed or imposed by others (Ruef 2010)), researchers are starting to begin to understand the criticality and uniqueness to entrepreneurial teams of the formation stage and the need to explore it.

  • Why and how do entrepreneurial teams form?
  • How do the two main currently identified approaches, resource-based and interpersonal, shed light on the process of entrepreneurial team formation? With which contingencies? And for what performance?
  • How do business opportunities (identification, refinement, etc.) and entrepreneurial team formation process interact? And how does this relationship relate to performance issues?
  • How is the work organized during the formation stage and with what effects on team outcomes?
  • How do possible formal functional roles interact with the more informal ones (e.g., Belbin team roles)?
  • How are rewards discussed and with what effects?

The second key lesson that is being learned in entrepreneurial teams research is that resources need to be leveraged. Entrepreneurial team composition and its relationship with performance have been, following the upper echelons research stream, investigated quite frequently. The main research question that has been explored has related to the benefits of diversity, with the results being mostly inconclusive (Zhou and Rosini 2015). Nevertheless, an overall effect of entrepreneurial team composition on new venture performance is found (Jin et al. 2016) and team composition is important to investors (professional or not, Franke et al. 2008; Vogel et al. 2014). Thus, without dismissing entrepreneurial team composition as a key factor for team and new venture performance, researchers are more attentive to the conceptualization and measurement of diversity (e.g., deeper-level diversity, and not just averaging individual characteristics). In alignment with the IMOI model (inputs-mediators-outputs-inputs), mediators are more and more considered and, in particular, process variables are distinguished from emergent states (de Mol et al. 2015; Klotz et al. 2014; Marks et al. 2001).

  • How can we better investigate entrepreneurial team composition effects? (e.g., personality, affective inputs, measurement)
  • What is the role of processes and emergent states? And how can we capture the emergent team properties?
  • How does learning impact the process of leveraging entrepreneurial team resources?
  • How does the composition evolve over time? And with what relation with team processes and emergent states? With what impact on the outcomes?

Finally, the importance of context is more and more acknowledged. The context can be seen from the perspective Welter (2011) develops in her research agenda on contextualizing entrepreneurship research, that is business (industry, market), social (networks, household and family), spatial (geographical environments, industry districts and clusters) and institutional (culture and society, political and economic system). The temporal dimension is an important context element as well, with the different development stages of an entrepreneurial team as well as temporal topics such as learning and turnover. This dimension also restates the importance of longitudinal studies in order to observe a team’s evolution over time. Furthermore, context can also be embedded so as to typify the entrepreneurial team. This is notably the case for family entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, academic entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship, business groups, franchises, and so on.

  • The relevance in entrepreneurial teams research of not considering traditional context variables as simple controls. Why? And how?
  • The investigation of the temporal dimension in entrepreneurial teams research. What? And How?
  • The different types of entrepreneurial teams (social entrepreneurial teams, family entrepreneurial teams, etc.).

These trends offer non-limitative examples of the questions that would be interesting to address in this workshop.


The purpose of this workshop is twofold. First, it aims at creating an international community of researchers interested in the topics of entrepreneurial teams and collective entrepreneurship more generally. Second, it has a developmental objective, i.e. papers will be thoroughly reviewed and discussed by the peers in order to advance them on the path of publication. We thus welcome original research but also papers that have been presented before (or are scheduled to be) but that have not been submitted to an academic journal yet. For these reasons, this workshop will be limited to a small number of people in order to create the best conditions for constructive interaction. Each participant will be asked to review the work of two others. Participants who are not presenting may be allowed to register depending on space availability.

Deadlines and Submission Guidelines

Abstract deadline: May 15, 2017 [Notification of acceptance will be given shortly after this date]

The submission should contain, in a single document, a cover page and an abstract/body of the proposal. The cover page must include the title of the proposal, authors’ names, affiliations, address, telephone, and e-mail. The body of the proposal should contain an abstract of maximum 2 pages (cover page not included), single-spaced, times new roman 12. The abstract should clearly highlight the following issues: objectives, literature review, theories used, approach/method, results/findings, and contribution of the research. To be sent by e-mail to: c.benhafaiedh@ieseg.fr and chabaud.iae@univ-paris1.fr.

Full papers will be required by August 15, 2017.

Publishing Opportunities

A selection of the presented papers will be invited to submit a revised version for consideration to an upcoming special issue of an international academic journal. Other publishing opportunities are currently under consideration.

Venue and Dates

The workshop will be hosted by IESEG School of Management, Paris campus, France on the 18 and 19 of September 2017.


Cyrine BEN-HAFAÏEDH, IÉSEG School of Management
Didier CHABAUD, IAE de Paris, Sorbonne Graduate School of Management


Comments are closed.