Performance drivers of serial entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurial and team experience
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Purpose: This paper aims to focus on the role of team and entrepreneurial experience for firm performance of serial entrepreneurs in the multi‐media industry. Design/methodology/approach: The research assumes that serial entrepreneurs have certain advantages over novice entrepreneurs, such as the development of effective start‐up teams and entrepreneurial experience effects. Disadvantages, however, are also mentioned in the literature, and these are assumed to out‐balance the advantages, leading to mixed research findings. The hypotheses are tested on a sample of 52 European multimedia companies. Findings: The results show a positive impact of relevant entrepreneurial experience and evidence both team advantages as well as disadvantages. Team diversity had a positive impact on performance while the extent of repeated partnerships (or relative team stability) had a negative impact on performance. Moreover, entrepreneurial experience helps to build better diverse teams but has no impact on repeated partnerships. Research limitations/implications: The degree of experience of serial entrepreneurs in the same industry matters, and suggests that more experience is better. The findings challenge a general assumption about serial entrepreneurs: that the building of superior teams creates performance differences. Team diversity drives performance and the study could also show that habitual entrepreneurs are better in building diverse teams (through a positive moderation of team diversity by entrepreneurial experience). However, relying heavily on previous partners is counter‐productive. Limitations of this study are due to self‐reported data, small sample size and survivor bias. Practical implications: Entrepreneurs need to focus on opportunities and resource needs linked to these opportunities, and use their experience to build stronger teams but to resist the temptation of replicating perceived past success formula by over‐relying on previous partners. The latter is also important for stakeholders in the entrepreneurial venture. Originality/value: This paper tests various assumptions and propositions about serial entrepreneurship that are rarely based on sound evidence. The role of entrepreneurial experience to build better diverse teams and the role of repeated partnerships constitute an original contribution to habitual entrepreneurship research.