Matching Inventors with Surrogate Entrepreneurs: A Framework informing the Entrepreneurial Team Formation Process

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A critical issue facing inventors is that they typically lack the knowledge required to start and run a new business. As a result, they must grapple with the question of whether to team up with a “surrogate entrepreneur” to provide the business-related competences that they lack. Yet, the answer to this question is not straightforward, as it often links to other critical questions such as when in the entrepreneurship process a surrogate entrepreneur is needed, as well as who the “right” surrogate entrepreneur should be. Regrettably, extant theorizing on entrepreneurial team formation does not provide answers to these questions. In order to overcome this key practical and conceptual gap in knowledge, this study proposes a process model that offers several new theoretical insights for research on entrepreneurial team formation. First, it informs the process that underpins the decision to add a new team member—a decision-making process that precedes the search for a new team member and that, despite its importance, is largely overlooked by prior research. Second, it challenges the comprehensiveness of existing theorized team formation strategies, and proposes a new strategy in this regard—the resource-exploring strategy—that can be employed when the market opportunity for an invention is not yet known. Finally, it contributes to human capital theory, by illustrating that the value of a human capital endowment depends on “when” this endowment is added to the team, as well as “who” holds this endowment. Important implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Matching Inventors with Surrogate Entrepreneurs: A Framework informing the Entrepreneurial Team Formation Process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this