This study investigates the evolution of business start-ups in the first three to five years. Evolution is defined here as a non-continuous learning process of entrepreneurs that creates and changes organizational routines. Two concepts are central: critical learning episodes and pathways. Critical learning episodes are discontinuous learning events in the storyline of these business start-ups. A critical learning episode is composed of endogenous or exoge-nous events that trigger search activities to acquire or create resources, which, when applied to the firm, will change the current organizational routines. Pathways are arrangements of critical learning episodes. This study develops a multidisciplinary analytical framework with concepts of learning from organizational psychology, concepts of the internal dynamics of firms for the Penrosian resource-based theory, and concepts of economic change from evolutionary economics. This thesis fills in the gap of describing evolutionary and learning processes of business start-ups in the resource-based theory of the firm. The research question about how learning-based pathways explain the evolution of business start-ups was investigated through semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs of 43 business start-ups. All these start-ups were linked to business incubation programmes in the two most resource-rich regions of Brazil: São Paulo and Minas Gerais. These start-ups were in three sectors: a) manufacturing, b) information and communication, and c) professional, scientific and technical activities.....

A.H.J. Helmsing (Bert) , P. Knorringa (Peter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS PhD Theses
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Corradi, A.A. (2013, September 18). Critical Learning Episodes In The Evolution Of Business Start-Ups: Business Incubators In South-Eastern Brazil. ISS PhD Theses. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from