Complexity dynamics of nascent entrepreneurship

Benyamin B. Lichtenstein, Nancy M. Carter, Kevin Dooley, William B. Gartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


We  use theory and methods from complexity science to examine dynamic patterns among activities undertaken by nascent entrepreneurs in the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics. We develop hypotheses predicting that certain dynamic patterns in start-up activities will lead to the emergence of new firms when: (1) the rate of start-up activities is high, (2) start-up activities are spread out over time, and (3) start-up activities are concentrated later rather than earlier over time. All three hypotheses are confirmed. The paper concludes with some suggestions for the role of complexity science for furthering insights into the process of organization creation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-261
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Complexity science
  • Dynamics
  • Nascent entrepreneurship
  • Organization emergence
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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