Fuelled by feelings: Organisational learning in start-ups
On Thursday 13 January 2022 Marius Jones will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.
Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
How do leadership actions boost start-up performance over time?
10:15, NHH / Zoom
Title of the thesis:
Shaped like a loop, fuelled by feelings: Organisational learning in start-ups
This thesis is about organisational learning in start-ups. Organisational learning differs from individual learning; it is not about changes in people’s mental models through reading and experience but describe improvements organisations do because of new knowledge. It concerns how organisations adapt their product, business model, and routines as they figure out what works better and worse.
The thesis comprises three papers. Paper 1 is conceptual, while papers 2 and 3 are based on a rich qualitative dataset of interview transcripts and field notes that Jones gathered by spending time in five start-ups.
In paper 1, he argues that start-up members (employees, managers, and founders) emotions – and their emotional culture - may influence organisational learning. When members experience positive emotions, such as enthusiasm and passion, they are more likely to get creative and detect new opportunities, thereby more likely to come up with new products and routines. Conversely, when members experience negative emotions, such as frustrations and anger, they will become motivated to solve problems related to their current products and routines.
In paper 2, the Jones and co-authors explore how start-up members manage their moods and emotions. They show how start-ups may increase organisational learning by elevating – rather than regulating – moods and emotions. Rather than attempting to control or down-regulate their moods and emotions, members in these start-ups shared their fears and frustrations openly and used the information value of these emotions to improve their start-up.
In paper 3, they explore how start-ups develop coordination – routines, roles, and plans – at an early stage. They find that start-ups are more able to do so when they blend diverse learning styles, thus, creating a learning loop. The learning loop consists of anticipatory learning (i.e. learning by anticipating negative outcomes), vicarious learning, experimental learning, and trial-and-error learning.
12:15, NHH / Zoom
Members of the evaluation committee:
Professor Paul N. Gooderham (leader of the committee), Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
Associate professor Cyrine Ben-Hafaiedh, IESEG School of Management, France,
Associate professor Timo Vuori, Aalto University, Finland
Professor Vidar Schei (main supervisor), Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
Associate professor Therese Sverdrup, Department of Strategy and Management, NHH
The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public.