When does advice impact startup performance?
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Why do some entrepreneurs thrive while others fail? We explore whether the advice entrepreneurs receive about managing their employees influences their startup's performance. We conducted a randomized field experiment in India with 100 high-growth technology firms whose founders received in-person advice from other entrepreneurs who varied in their managerial style. We find that entrepreneurs who received advice from peers with a formal approach to managing people—instituting regular meetings, setting goals consistently, and providing frequent feedback to employees—grew 28% larger and were 10 percentage points less likely to fail than those who got advice from peers with an informal approach to managing people, 2 years after our intervention. Entrepreneurs with MBAs or accelerator experience did not respond to this intervention, suggesting that formal training can limit the spread of peer advice.
Chatterji, A; Delecourt, S; Hasan, S; Koning, R
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