People Strategy in Startups
3rd semester master's elective
Guests in previous years: Lasse Chor (Startup Aarhus), Natasha Overmeyer (Stanford), Marc Olsen (Voluntas), Danny Kim (Wharton), Christian Erfurt (Be My Eyes)
Large companies get the lion-share of scholarly and practitioner attention, even though scaling startups create most new jobs. To overcome the inevitable challenges that result from working in fast-growing firms, founders/CEOs, managers, and rank-and-file employees alike need to know how people strategy plays out differently in such environments. Based on cutting-edge research in strategy and entrepreneurship, this course will give you a toolkit to understand how work in startups differs from established companies without treating startups as just scaled-down versions of large firms.
How does one coordinate people strategy decisions with incoming funding waves to create competitive advantage? When is the best time to formalize the human resources department function? How does one build a data-native organization from day 1 and anticipate the data challenges of growing? How do managers and rank-and-file employees co-create culture and work experience? The course’s learning goal is to prepare future managers and employees to think strategically and analytically about people strategy issues in scaling startups and their long-term personal career trajectory.
During this course, we will discuss management research alongside boots on the ground examples focusing specifically on the Danish startup scene. Students will learn about the key metrics based on which startups differ from traditional workplaces, how traditional HR topics take on different meanings in fast-growing environments, and what managers and employees can do to avoid some of the pitfalls that could jeopardize the wellbeing of the employees and organizational performance.
The course is not only for those who are interested in entrepreneurship. The course will actually show that successful startup scaling is about instilling the very structures startup founders usually see as bureaucratic threats to their entrepreneurial souls while retaining three critical elements that provide meaning: business intent, customer connection and employee experience.
Companies we worked with in previous years
Lay summary of course ideas:
The career consequences of getting a job at an SME
Other videos in the series (click on the title to watch):
The SME Context: age and growth
Differences between working for a traditional firm and an SME
Key takeaways for the public
A Race against Time: Managing People in Fast-growing Startups
I gave a talk to the general audience about her class, People Strategy in Startups, at the Festival of Research on April 28, 2022.
Tweetable take-away: Startups are not just scaled-down versions of large companies! @idnut ’s research explains that to overcome the inevitable challenges that result from racing against time, fast-growing companies need to know how people strategy plays out differently in such environments.
Applied Quantitative Methods for Management Research
What does it mean when seminar participants or journal referees claim that your manuscript has an endogeneity problem or no identification strategy? How can you create a research design that allows us to make causal claims in a paper? With a point of departure in counterfactual thinking, this Ph.D. course introduces a toolbox of analytical techniques to better ground causal claims in academic texts.
The covered methods are the state-of-the-art quantitative tools in management research. We focus on visualizing the assumptions underlying specific research designs using directed acyclic graphs, and introduce several statistical techniques based broadly on two perspectives that address the limits and opportunities of making causal claims based on observational data, i.e. structural equation modeling and quasi-experimental design. We learn the methods by reading about the underlying intuition behind them, by seeing them work in academic texts, and by replicating them using software packages.
The ultimate goal of this class is to spark an interest in quantitative analysis and de-mystify the concepts and skills involved. In doing so, it will facilitate that Ph.D. students become engaged and collaborative contributors to the academic community.
Entrepreneurial Strategy in the U.S. Beer Industry
Entrepreneurship and Business Planning
Bachelor level course
This module introduces the entrepreneurial strategy compass (Gans, Scott and Wu 2019) as an analytical toolbox to analyze four go-to-market strategies. Students will learn about four contemporary U.S. craft beer businesses as exemplars.