Time for Departure

This subproject aims at understanding the circumstances and underlying dynamics that lead entrepreneurial groups to exit from a business.
It is noteworthy that this question is not per se connected to a notion of success or failure, but is open to all sorts of possible pathways.
Collective exits can take the shape of disbanding the organization, a management buy-out or a sale to a competitor. This project will establish
a typology of such exit scenarios, and apply a mixed method approach to understand the pathways leading to these.

Biographical-narrative interviews with (former) entrepreneurial group members are used to reconstruct subjective reasoning underlying their
pathways that mark transitions in their life courses. In parallel, expert interviews with tax consultants, bank specialists and industry associations
as well as ethnographic data of accompanying corporate lawyers through the initiation and closure phase of business sales, will provide in-depth
material for a grounded theory analysis carving out common variables and key differences of these pathways. In particular market factors (industry
development, number of competitors, technological change etc.), life course factors (age, education, life plan, etc.) and group relations (type of tie,
size of group etc.) will be considered. In a next step, the categorized pathways will be tested using the longitudinal data set collected in SP 1. This
data set allows for a (sequential) network analysis investigating group dynamics in the years leading to an exit event.

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