Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Sorenson, Olav


Organization leaders and policymakers express the need for developing entrepreneurial and innovative talent, central to firm growth and job creation. Despite the growing number of individuals working at the forefront of innovation and technology, there is much to learn about the role of entrepreneurial and innovative human capital in shaping key organizational processes and outcomes. In my dissertation, I explore how individuals in innovation-driven contexts–such as entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors–vary in their human capital, and how the accumulation of this capital (e.g., knowledge, career experience, expertise), in turn, affects organization performance and innovation. In the first essay, I explore how the performance of external hires and their teams are affected by mobility and how team design affects the innovation performance of both groups. To do so, I analyze over 63,000 mobility events of U.S. engineers and scientists across different industries. The second essay examines the mobility of entrepreneurs to wage employment at established firms. A field experiment was conducted to understand how hiring firms evaluate entrepreneurs as job candidates. In the third essay, I investigate whether allowing the general public, without investment expertise, to invest in startups can provide funding opportunities to a more diverse group of entrepreneurs. Leveraging novel data on startups that participated in Regulation Crowdfunding in the U.S. and data on startups that could have decided to crowdfund, I examine the differences in firm and founding team characteristics of startups funded by crowd and professional investors. This dissertation draws on and contributes to research at the nexus of entrepreneurship and organizations. Specifically, the first two essays build on interorganizational career mobility and human capital research. The second and third essays contribute to research on entrepreneurship, evaluation, and resource mobilization. My dissertation offers insights to innovators and entrepreneurs on how to successfully navigate the capital and labor markets. For managers of organizations, the first and second essays highlight ways to develop entrepreneurial and innovative environments. The second and third essays have implications for policymakers on designing entrepreneurship education and funding programs.