Knowledge sources of entrepreneurship: Firm formation by academic, user and employee innovators

Rajshree Agarwal, Sonali K. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Innovative new ventures are at the heart of economic development, particularly when these startups are created by employee, academic, and user innovators. We synthesize across literature streams examining each phenomena to document distinctions between firms originating from different "knowledge contexts." We then integrate the knowledge context into Teece's (1986) theoretical framework identifying factors that impact a firm's ability to profit from innovation. Doing so allows us to develop stylized facts and predictive propositions pertaining to differences in the innovative contributions, roles played in shaping industrial dynamics and evolution, and performance outcomes for startups stemming from the three entrepreneurial origins. These propositions provide unique insights into the causes of patterns of industry evolution, contribute to theory in the areas of entrepreneurship and industry evolution, and yield important policy and managerial implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1133
Number of pages25
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Employee entrepreneurship
  • Industry evolution
  • Innovation
  • New venture performance
  • User entrepreneurship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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