A conceptual framework on entrepreneurial team member exits: A starting point for further research
In recent years, entrepreneurial teams and entrepreneurial exit have been emerging fields of study in entrepreneurship research. However, current efforts often neglect the dynamic nature of such teams and especially the exit of individual team members from ongoing team ventures. This lead to scattered and often implicit knowledge as well as contradictory findings on entrepreneurial team member exits in current literature, which have not yet been merged into a comprehensive overview of the topic. Entrepreneurial team member exits are a prevalent occurrence with distinct consequences for the exiting individual, the remaining team members and other stakeholders.
The authors apply a systematic literature review methodology including 41 scientific articles to map past research on the process of team member exits. Results provide knowledge in terms of antecedents on different levels of analysis (individual, team, and organizational), portray information on initiation processes and routes of the exits, and offer an overview of sometimes contradicting findings concerning consequences. The article depicts that an exit in a team context is a complex yet under-researched social phenomenon with fragmented and inconsistent findings in contemporary research.
It mainly contributes to the scientific discourse in four ways: First, it collects and takes a stock of current knowledge of entrepreneurial exits in a team context. Second, the authors propose a process framework on entrepreneurial team member exit for further engagement showing the interrelatedness of the process. Third, this work identifies prominent theoretical perspectives underlying the reviewed publications as well as theories not yet utilized to their full potential. Fourth, it reveals auspicious avenues for future research all along the process.
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