This study seeks to contribute to the literature on corporate ownership and firm performance by advancing an expertise-based perspective that views owners as a contingent resource. Specifically, we propose that heterogeneous prior experiences of corporate owners creates identifiable and evolving differences in owner expertise, and that these differences in expertise, when matched appropriately to firms- specific and changing strategic needs, will be a source of value over the life cycle of a firm. We draw from the venture capital (VC) context to identify ex ante themeaningful differences in owner expertise, aswell as the firmspecific situations in which we believe a fit or misfit would exist between VC owners and these private firms. We test and find support for our predictions regarding the performance benefits of well-matched owners and firms using an extensive longitudinal dataset of the population ofU.S. private firms seeking to go public from 1997 to 2004, and their VC owners. We discuss the implications of our approach as they relate to future research opportunities across the corporate governance, strategy, and entrepreneurship literatures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation