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Knowledge Management for the Entrepreneurial Venture

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Abstract

We synthesize research from operations management, entrepreneurship, organizational science, and strategy to investigate the performance-enhancing benefits of knowledge management activities throughout the entrepreneurial process of a high-tech venture from idea conception to commercialization. We adopt a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship to understand how knowledge management activities change throughout four phases of the venture's life cycle. We introduce a framework that identifies a set of knowledge-based capabilities that enhance the entrepreneurial venture's success. In the context of the first phase, we discuss knowledge as a key driver of entrepreneurial alertness and creativity, both of which impact the quality and quantity of opportunities and innovations discovered. Second, we describe how knowledge enables the entrepreneur to make decisions under uncertainty such as determining which opportunity to pursue. For Phase 3 of the life cycle, we explore the challenges of managing knowledge during the development of the product or technology including the trade-off between exploration and exploitation. In the final phase, we explore how knowledge impacts the market entry decision, survival, and the value captured at commercialization. We conclude the article with suggestions for future research.

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