K.U.Leuven - Departement toegepaste economische wetenschappen
DTEW Research Report 0460 pages:1-60
Recent research shows that new ventures have great difficulties in defining a viable business model from the outset and that minor or major adaptations to this initial business model are needed as the venture evolves. Entrepreneurial adaptation or the entrepreneur's willingness and ability to make appropriate adjustments to the business concept become critical. If adaptation is so important for entrepreneurial companies, we need to ask ourselves a number of questions. (1) What causes this need for adaptation? (2a) What is the precise effect of adaptation on a start-up's performance or survival and (2b) is this effect similar for all start-ups? Also, (3) what do we know about the process of adaptation? And (4) what are factors enabling this adaptation process? Finally, we also need to determine (5) how the concept of adaptation in entrepreneurial companies is related to existing concepts of change and adaptation. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of different literature streams that are specifically relevant to entrepreneurial adaptation and the questions listed above, and to point out gaps in the existing literature requiring further investigation. We look at whether and how the existing literature can provide insight into each of those five questions. In a final section, we point out directions for further research.