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RESOLVING THE COMMITMENT-FLEXIBILITY DILEMMA IN NEW TECHNOLOGY VENTURES

Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, Philippe Silberzahn and Thomas Paris
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Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini: GREGHEC-i3/CRG, HEC, 1 Rue de la libération, 78351 Jouy en Josas Cedex, France
Philippe Silberzahn: #x2020;EM Lyon Business School, 23 Avenue Guy de Collongue, 69130 Écully, France
Thomas Paris: GREGHEC-i3/CRG, HEC, 1 Rue de la libération, 78351 Jouy en Josas Cedex, France

International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), 2017, vol. 21, issue 06, 1-18

Abstract: In their attempt to define radically new product–market pairs, according to the literature, new technology ventures (NTV) are confronted with an apparent dilemma. On the one hand, they should delay key commitments to remain flexible in the face of high uncertainty. On the other hand, commitments are necessary to enable learning and progress. Based on the longitudinal study of four NTVs, we find that the entrepreneurs resolve this dilemma by (i) defining their product and market progressively through iteration and learning, and by (ii) basing this progressive definition on stakeholders’ commitments. We analyse this approach and label it “commit and learn”. Following an inductive methodology, we suggest a conceptual framework to enhance the understanding of commitment as a multi-dimensional concept for new ventures.

Keywords: Uncertainty; flexibility; commitment; new venture project; trial and error; stakeholders (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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