Martin Ganco is Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Human Resources and also the Faculty Director of the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE). He is working on a project entitled:
Inter-Industry Differences in the Antecedents and Consequences of Industrial Scientists’ Mobility and Entrepreneurship Decisions
We asked him a few questions about his work at our RDC
What is the broad, overarching research agenda that brought you to the WiscRDC?
I am interested in why individuals start new ventures, what makes entrepreneurs innovative and what explains their success.
What are the specific questions that you are using to pursue this agenda? What do you hope to accomplish?
Working with the data at the WiscRDC provides a unique opportunity to extensively measure prior work history of individuals who eventually start new businesses. For instance, one of our projects focuses on understanding of the role that prior work experience in established firms plays in entrepreneurship. Founders frequently recruit cofounders from among coworkers. It has advantages and disadvantages. Cofounders who worked together in the past have better knowledge of each other but the similarities in their prior experience may lead to “group think” and incremental ideas. We investigate which effect tends to dominate and under what conditions. In another project, we investigate how family characteristics such as having school-aged children affects entrepreneurial propensity and performance.
What are the data you are using to pursue these questions?
We are primarily using the linked employee-employer longitudinal data called the LEHD. Our research is exploiting the ability to link the LEHD with other firm-level datasets such patents and individual level datasets such as the Decennial Census.
Are you collaborating with any other researchers, in Madison, or otherwise.
Working with large datasets requires team effort. I am collaborating with a number of researchers including scholars at the University of Maryland, the Ohio State University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and the University of Southern California.
Do you have any thoughts on how RDC data has shaped your academic discipline and sub discipline?
The RDC data is beginning to have a significant impact on research in management. The differentiating factor of the data is its massive size and its universal coverage. This allows asking questions and utilizing approaches that are not usually possible with smaller samples. As an example, prior work has used other datasets such as patent records to proxy for mobility of inventors across firms and sectors. In one of our projects, we compare the mobility measured using the patent data with the mobility measured using the LEHD. This approach will allow quantifying the sources of measurement bias and allow delineating under which conditions is the use of patents as a proxy for mobility appropriate.
Do you mind sharing the citations for any of your existing scholarly papers or CES Working papers that use data from an RDC?
Agarwal, R., Campbell, B., Franco, A., Ganco, M. What Do I Take With Me?: The Mediating Effect of Spin-Out Team Size and Tenure on the Founder-Firm Performance Relationship. Academy of Management Journal, 2016.
Campbell, B.A., Ganco, M., Franco, A., Agarwal, R. 2012. Who Leaves, to Go Where, and Does it Matter: Employee Mobility, Employee Entrepreneurship and the Effects on Parent Firm Performance. Strategic Management Journal, 33: 65-87.
Honore, F., Ganco, M., Entrepreneurial Teams’ Acquisition of Talent: A Two-Sided Approach (November 1, 2016). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 16-45.