The Embedded Entrepreneur – Out now

Posted: May 13th, 2009 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Embedded Entrepreneur – Out now

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Using comprehensive data on the Danish population, this paper examines the determinants of entrepreneurs’ choices of where to locate their new ventures. Our findings suggest that entrepreneurs place much more emphasis on being close to family and friends than on regional characteristics that might influence the performance of their ventures when deciding where to locate those businesses. Two factors could explain our findings: On the one hand, entrepreneurs may simply value proximity to family and friends. On the other hand, these relationships may help them to assemble the assets and to recruit the personnel that they need to succeed in their ventures. Our results suggest that the former plays the greater role in entrepreneurs’ location choices.

Update, May 28: Received the EMR Best Paper Award for 2009

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson (2009) “The embedded entrepreneur”, European Management Review, Vol. 6, pp. 172-181 [DOI Link]Download here


The Social Attachment to Place

Posted: July 5th, 2008 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Social Attachment to Place

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Many theories either implicitly or explicitly assume that individuals readily move to locations that improve their financial well being. Other forces, however, counteract these tendencies; for example, people often wish to remain close to family and friends. We introduce a methodology for determining how individuals weight these countervailing forces, and estimate how both financial incentives and social factors influence the probability of geographic mobility in the Danish population from 2002 to 2003. Our results suggest that individuals respond to opportunities for higher pay elsewhere, but that their sensitivity to this factor pales in comparison to their preferences for living near family and friends.

Social Forces, Vol. 89, No. 2, December 2010, DOI link to paper


Are You Experienced? Prior Experience of Managers and the Survival of New Organisations

Posted: November 5th, 2007 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Are You Experienced? Prior Experience of Managers and the Survival of New Organisations

Michael S. Dahl and Toke Reichstein

This paper investigates the relationship between the experiences of managers and the likelihood of survival of their new firms. We take advantage of a comprehensive data-set covering the entire Danish labour market from 1980-2000. This is used to trace the activities of top ranked members of new firms prior to the founding and follow the fate of their firms after the founding.

Michael S. Dahl and Toke Reichstein (2007), “Are You Experienced? Prior Experience and the Survival of New Organizations“, Industry and Innovation. Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 497-511. ISSN: 1366-2716. [DOI Link]


Social networks in the R&D process: the case of the wireless communication industry around Aalborg, Denmark

Posted: October 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Social networks in the R&D process: the case of the wireless communication industry around Aalborg, Denmark

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (now Christian R. Østergaard)

Whether social networks diffuse knowledge across firm boundaries has been the topic of much debate. To inform these theories, this article considers two questions. First, who has contacts across firm boundaries? And second, when do these relations diffuse knowledge? Our empirical evidence comes from a survey of 346 engineers in the wireless communication industry around Aalborg in Northern Denmark. Our analysis finds that social contact between these engineers is frequent and is used to diffuse knowledge that receivers find useful. More experienced engineers are more likely to receive valuable knowledge from their networks. These findings show that the long-term relationships, which are more likely based on trust and reputation, are also more likely to be a channel valuable knowledge.

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (2005), “Social Networks in the R&D Process: The Case of the Wireless Communication Industry Around Aalborg, Denmark”, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. Vol. 22, No. 1-2, pp. 75-92. ISSN: 0923-4748. [DOI Link]


Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Posted: January 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (now Christian R. Østergaard)

The role of informal networks in the development of regional clusters has recently received a lot of attention in the literature. Informal contact between employees in different firms is claimed to be one of the main carriers of knowledge between firms in a cluster. This paper examines empirically the role of informal contacts in a specific cluster. In a questionnaire survey, we asked a sample of engineers in a regional cluster of wireless communication firms in Northern Denmark a series of questions on informal networks. We analyze whether the engineers actually acquire valuable knowledge through these networks. We find that the engineers do share even quite valuable knowledge with informal contacts. This shows that informal contacts represent an important channel of knowledge diffusion.

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (2004), “Knowledge Flows through Informal Contacts in Industrial Clusters: Myth or Reality?”, Research Policy, Vol. 33, No. 10, pp. 1673-86. ISSN: 0048-7333. [DOI Link]


Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation

Posted: October 6th, 2004 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation

Michael S. Dahl

Denne artikel præsenterer den nyeste teoretiske forskning i sammenhængen mellem entreprenørers erfaringsmæssige baggrund og deres fremtidige succes og innovationsevne. En række studier tyder nemlig på, at disse faktorer er tæt forbundet i kraft af nedarvede organisatoriske rutiner, som entreprenøren har med fra sin tidligere arbejdsplads. Denne teoretiske påstand undersøges gennem et detaljeret studie af udviklingen af den trådløse kommunikationsindustri omkring Aalborg samt gennem referencer til et kvantitativt studie af 3.500 opstartsvirksomheder i den danske fremstillingssektor. Begge studier peger i retningen af, at knopskydende virksomheder med erfaringer fra gode virksomheder har større sandsynlighed for succes, samt at disse virksomheder også er mere innovative i deres første tid end andre ældre virksomheder.

Michael S. Dahl (2004), “Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation [Born for Success? Spin-offs as sources of innovation]“, Ledelse & Erhvervsøkonomi, Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 285-292. ISSN: 0902-3704. [PDF]


Are Firm Growth Rates Random? Patterns and Dependencies

Posted: March 6th, 2004 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Are Firm Growth Rates Random? Patterns and Dependencies

Toke Reichstein and Michael S. Dahl

Using Danish firm data covering almost 9000 observations, we find significant proof that firm growth cannot be considered as a simple Gibrat growth process. Key variables, such as size, age, geographical location and industry structure are tested against firm growth rates in turnover and employment. Besides running the regressions on all observations, we also consider and find highly interesting patterns in an industry context. Thus, we conclude that firm growth cannot be considered idiosyncratic. Firm growth is highly dependent on industry and geography.

Toke Reichstein and Michael S. Dahl (2004), “Are Firm Growth Rates Random? Patterns and Dependencies”, International Review of Applied Economics, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 225-246. ISSN: 0269-2171. [DOI Link]