How can newly established organizations grow successfully? This question has captivated researchers in entrepreneurship and organization theory for decades. This literature has documented that such diverse issues as competition at founding, firm strategies, and the size and composition of the management team can predict organizational growth (e.g. Eisenhardt and Schoonhoven, 1990). Underlying these diverse results is the premise that gaining access to necessary resources and managing these resources successfully is critical to realize organizational growth, yet the dynamics of the resources within entrepreneurial ventures, once obtained, are still poorly understood. In this project, we focus specifically on physical, material resources, a type of resource that has received little empirical attention compared to other types, such as human or knowledge-based resources. Focusing on material resources, this study aims to contribute to organization theory and entrepreneurship research by answering the following research questions: First, how do we explain diversity and change in the resource portfolios of entrepreneurial ventures in terms of these firms’ founding conditions? Second, how does diversity and change in such resource portfolios affect new venture growth? In short, this study intends to focus both on the antecedents (i.e. founding conditions) and consequences (i.e. organizational growth) of resource dynamics within new start-ups. This study’s research questions will be tested with data on the U.K. airline industry, 1919-1975, where aircraft are considered to be the critical resources to start-up airlines. The dataset will include over 350 -typically small- airline companies that existed throughout this period and over 3,500 aircraft held by these airlines.
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