Despite decades of research since Stinchcombes original essay on the liability of newness, questions remain regarding the forms and the causes of emerging organizations liabilities. Stinchcombe argued that newly-founded organizations face complex challenges that limit their viability, including managing relationships among strangers, assembling required resources quickly, and coping with difficult environments. In the 1980s researchers began investigating whether the liability of newness really was, in fact, a universal principle. However, we believe that researchers have never properly tested Stinchcombes original propositions because they have mostly focused on registered new firms rather than emergent ones. Lacking a clear theoretical framework that explains emerging organizations liabilities, the field of entrepreneurship has ignored Stinchcombes emphasis on emerging organizations. Research on emerging organizations needs to pay more attention to the pragmatic tasks that nascent entrepreneurs cope with and the activities that they undertake to accomplish these tasks. In addition to a systematic conceptual framework, future research on the liability of newness also requires a suitable research design and appropriate statistical procedures. Were investigators to follow the suggestions we have offered, we believe that scholars would gain a better understanding of the conditions under which some emerging organizations are more likely than others to survive.
©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston