Early Development of New Technology-Based Firms: How Internal and External Resource Dimensions Impact and Structure the Firm
Doctoral thesis, 2019

How do founders’ and firms’ business environment impact the early development of new technology-based firms (NTBFs)? In order to answer this question, this thesis explores how internal and external resource dimensions impact and structure the early development of NTBFs. NTBFs are known for their technological innovation and their abilities to boost economic growth and development. These new, young firms are vulnerable in their first years of development, and their development is dependent on resources related to the founders and external business environment. Impacts from these internal and external resource dimensions provide means for firms to develop. Explaining how these dimensions together influence the early development of NTBFs would broaden the perspective on these firms in their first years, clarifying the type of support required for these firms. Examining NTBFs both qualitatively and quantitatively, the thesis analysed the structuring of the early development and the impacts on it, including business- and innovation performance, and initial business models. Findings reveal that the early development is affected by internal resource dimensions, such as founders’ previous business experiences and relationships within their business environment, and by external resource dimensions such as the type of business networks and firm localisation. However, impacts from these internal or external resource dimensions differ over time depending on founders’ experiences, maturity, and self-trust, and hence one dimension or the other dominates the early development. The thesis contributes to the research on NTBFs and entrepreneurship, describing and analysing imprinting effects of the aforementioned dimensions, such as founders’ attitudes, on the firms’ early development. It also discussed how the external business environment becomes less influential on the firms’ development as the founders rely more on own decisions to do business.

external resources

business model


early development

business environment

new technology-based firm

internal resources


Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8
Opponent: Prof. Lars Bengtsson, Lund University, Sweden


Hanna Rydehell

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management, Innovation and R&D Management

Effects of internal and external resource dimensions on the business performance of new technology-based firms

International Journal of Innovation Management,; Vol. 23(2019)

Journal article

Business networks and localization effects for new Swedish technology-based firms’ innovation performance

Journal of Technology Transfer,; Vol. 44(2019)p. 1457-1476

Journal article

Stakeholder roles in business model development in new technology-based firms

International Journal of Innovation Management,; Vol. 24(2020)

Journal article

Novelty-oriented value propositions for new technology-based firms: Impact of business networks and growth orientation

Journal of High Technology Management Research,; Vol. 29(2018)p. 161-171

Journal article

In today's society, technological innovations play a major role in economic development and growth. New technology-based firms account for a large part of this development and present new ways of doing business. This leads to the question of what is needed for these firms to develop in their early stages, including develop the initial business models?

This thesis focuses on the resources, both internal and external to the firms, which provide a prerequisite for early development of the firm in its initial years. The purpose of the thesis is to explore how internal and external resource dimensions impact and structure the early development of new technology-based firms. Based on both in-depth studies and statistical survey study, this dissertation demonstrates how founders’ experiences and relationships to other stakeholders provide a basis for the firms’ innovation performance, and how business networks and the firm’s location impact their ability to differentiate. The interaction between the internal and external resources is demonstrated to be a fundamental requirement for early development, although the dissertation proposes that their influence on the firm structure differs over time. 

The thesis contributes to our academic knowledge on new technology-based firms by studying these firms in their earlier stages of their development, focusing on the founder as the centre of the firm, using the concept of business model to reflect founders’ decisions, and considering these aspects in relation to the development of the firm. The thesis also provides implications for policymakers and incubator management that support these firms’ development to consider appropriate support systems, the kind of network relationships they intend to support, and how to encourage firms’ early development for supporting innovation performance.

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Business Administration



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4625


Chalmers University of Technology

Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8

Opponent: Prof. Lars Bengtsson, Lund University, Sweden

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Latest update

3/2/2020 1