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The categorical imperative in a two-dimensional space: founders' background and resource acquisition at IPO

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Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Venue: Room 3022, Kingston Business School, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB
Price: free
Speaker(s): Professor Vangelis Souitaris

The categorical imperative in a two-dimensional space: founders' background and resource acquisition at IPO

Social categorization theory suggests that specialized providers are endowed with more resources than those spanning multiple categories. Yet, because category spanning may simultaneously happen along multiple relevant dimensions, research must ask how category spanning in such a multidimensional space shapes outcomes. Does the hybridity penalty apply for each of category dimension separately? Does category spanning in multiple dimensions simultaneously increase the penalty of hybridity? Or can specialization in one dimension offset the penalty of category spanning in another dimension?

In this study, we focus on founders of new ventures, categorized by investor audiences along their industry and functional backgrounds (a two-dimensional space) and we relate founder categorization to resource acquisition at IPO. By analyzing a novel, hand-collected dataset of 173 entrepreneurial IPOs in the Alternative Investment Market in London (2002-2013), we find that, compared to IPO firms whose founders specialize in one industry or one function, those founded by category spanners are generally devalued by investors. However, devaluation is less severe in case founders are partly hybrid, spanning categories in one dimension (either for industry or function) but being a specialist in the other dimension. We also show that an external expert endorsement-in our case, intensive VC affiliations-can offset the penalty of hybridity, especially when hybridity occurs along multiple dimensions.

About the speaker

Vangelis Souitaris is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School. He founded the Entrepreneurship group at Cass and he is the current subject-group leader. Before Cass, Vangelis spent 6 years as an assistant professor at Imperial College London. He currently holds a visiting chair at the University of St. Gallen. Vangelis also visited on sabbatical LBS (2015-16), Wharton (2008-09), Bologna (2008), and Vlerick (2005). In 2011, he was recognized as one of the top 40 business school professors under 40 by the online business education magazine Poets and Quants.

Vangelis specialises in behavioural and social aspects of technology entrepreneurship. His behavioural portfolio includes studies on entrepreneurial inspiration, polychronicity, analysis versus intuition, halo effects, and escalation of commitment. His sociologically-driven work includes studies on institutional and network influences on technology enterprise. Currently he focuses on 3 specific areas: 1) Behavioural aspects of entrepreneurial decision making, 2) Entrepreneurial finance and 3) Academic entrepreneurship. Vangelis published work in prestigious field journals (Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management, R&D Management, Technovation) and also general management journals (Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Management, Long Range Planning).

All are welcome.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Hang Do
Email: H.Do@kingston.ac.uk

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