Virtual Entrepreneurship: Explicating the Antecedents of Firm Performance

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Prior research has examined entrepreneurial businesses spatially located in the physical or offline context; however, recent radical information and technological breakthroughs allow entrepreneurs to launch their businesses completely online. The growth of the online business industry has been phenomenal. Predictions for worldwide online sales estimate it to reach $2 trillion in 2016. Virtual entrepreneurship refers to the pursuit and exploitation of opportunities via virtual platforms. Web 2.0 cybermediaries offer web-based platforms that function similarly to traditional intermediaries in a virtual setting and minimize barriers to entry for virtual entrepreneurial firms. The use of such cybermediaries with increasing success suggests an ... continued below

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Chandna, Vallari May 2016.

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  • Chandna, Vallari

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Prior research has examined entrepreneurial businesses spatially located in the physical or offline context; however, recent radical information and technological breakthroughs allow entrepreneurs to launch their businesses completely online. The growth of the online business industry has been phenomenal. Predictions for worldwide online sales estimate it to reach $2 trillion in 2016. Virtual entrepreneurship refers to the pursuit and exploitation of opportunities via virtual platforms. Web 2.0 cybermediaries offer web-based platforms that function similarly to traditional intermediaries in a virtual setting and minimize barriers to entry for virtual entrepreneurial firms. The use of such cybermediaries with increasing success suggests an implicit shift in the dominant logic that typically underpins the functioning of entrepreneurial firms operating in the physical world. In this relatively uncharted territory, marked by a focus on profit, cooperation, collaboration and community, three ideal-type institutional logics i.e. Market, Corporation and Community, blend together. It is posited that a Virtual Entrepreneurial Logic guides the norms, behaviors, and practices of entrepreneurial firms operating via these virtual platforms. This raises the question whether the blending of three ideal-type logics leads to the existence of different antecedents of performance. A business model antecedent addressing the economic dimension, a community antecedent addressing the community dimension and a co-creation antecedent addressing the collaborative dimension of the Virtual Entrepreneurial Logic were therefore empirically examined in this study. Thus, three research questions were investigated to explicate the antecedents. Primary data from 1396 virtual entrepreneurial firms was collected (business model antecedent n=366, community antecedent n=732 and co-creation antecedent n= 298) to test the proposed hypotheses. Results provided support for the three antecedents. This study makes important theoretical and practical contributions to understanding the domain of virtual entrepreneurship from a blended logics perspective. Using the theoretical lens provided by institutional logics helps shed light on the pivotal role played by cybermediary platforms in the Web 2.0 context. The primary role of synergistic effects, cooperative behavior, and collaboration have important implications for virtual entrepreneurship. Findings also contribute to other related streams in entrepreneurship such as microenterprises. The study offers theoretical extensions of prior work on co-creation to virtual small entrepreneurial ventures. From a practical standpoint, insights can help entrepreneurs to better understand and leverage performance drivers in virtual contexts in general and on cybermediary platforms in particular.

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  • May 2016

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  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2016, 1 p.m.

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Chandna, Vallari. Virtual Entrepreneurship: Explicating the Antecedents of Firm Performance, dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849704/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .