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Title: An investigation into the formation and nature of entrepreneurial teams within the video games industry
Author: Cunningham, Isobel
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis investigates the formation and nature of the entrepreneurial teams (ETs) in the video games industry. Video game firms in the UK, Ireland, Finland and the United States are the focus of this study. Starting a new venture requires a significant amount of information, skills and knowledge in order for it to be a success. Hence, the quality and composition of the ET is extremely important in determining the success of a new venture. The video games industry is a serious knowledge based high technology industry with rapid growth underpinned by technological development. Although the importance of ETs and the video games industry has been recognised of late, they continue to be areas that are somewhat neglected in academic literature. Specifically there is a lack of enquiry with regard to the ET formation process with a lot of research focused on ET after they have made the transition from start up to operational firm. Hence, the lack of literature in this area acted as a catalyst for this enquiry which aims to address a current gap in academic literature. RBV, KBV, network approach and dynamic capabilities theoretically underpin this study. Combining these theories provides a more adequate explanation of the evolution of ETs and as such will significantly enrich entrepreneurship theory and acquire greater theoretical coherence. The study adopted a multi-stage qualitative approach to investigate the characteristics of team members at formation; identify the key motivators to team formation; identify the changes that occur; and the reason for these changes to team composition at development stage and the barriers that the ET encountered. A number of important conclusions have been drawn from this thesis. Many ET are hobbyists who have been developing since childhood and this was seen as a primary motivator in starting a new enterprise. The importance of networking through web technologies and social media was most significant in the development of these firms and ETs commonly relied on external parties to help fill a resource and knowledge gap. The ET brought in more experienced individuals who were unknown to them at development stage. Thus there was clear evidence of a move away from the social psychological model to the rationale model This thesis provides a number of practical recommendations for various stakeholders. The most pertinent implications for entrepreneurs are that they must be aware of the benefits of networking with external partiers and also the benefit of adopting an alternative structure. From an enterprise agency perspective they must understand the benefits of developing both a business eco-system and a network meeting model. This would stimulate connectedness between related sectors and other creative industries. The most pertinent implications for policy makers are that they must understand and respect the creative nature of the firms and the emphasis that they put on creativity as opposed to profit. They must also understand the lack of ambition on the part of the ET to develop into a large enterprise. This thesis contributes to the existing knowledge base by making theoretical contributions (confirmation, extension and disconfirmation) to the literature on RBV, KBV, network approach and dynamics capabilities, ETs and SME research. Studies in the future may consider conducting studies that include a larger sample and a number of other countries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available