One of the main conclusions of the thesis is that the innovation process, the venture team process and the roles in the team process, develop in recurring cycles. These cycles interact constantly with each other and affect the process of events. Tommy Larsson Segerlind presents the thesis at Stockholm University School of Business on May 29, 2009.

Previous research on the role of entrepreneur’s contribution to economic growth and change through the creation of new products, distribution or services have often assumed that entrepreneurs act on their own. Studying the entrepreneurial process from the team level of analysis helps us to better understand and explain phenomena in the innovation process that previously were relatively unexplored. These phenomena include the periods of divergence in the innovation process, the role the relationships play and how the cooperation of the venture team grows and changes, and also how the venture team may develop into a balanced and experienced leadership team. One conclusion is that, even if conflicts are common in these venture teams, the conflicts often drive the innovation process forward.

– It is not the conflicts that primarily make these teams dissolve in the end. Rather it depends on the fact that participants often find it more meaningful to get involved in other team formations over time, “says Tommy Larsson Segerlind.

Tommy Larsson Segerlind’s interest in the subject was awakened after having acted as co-author of a book about the company Tetra Pak (“Tetra – the story of the dynasty Rausing”). In the writing of that book it was discovered that there were a handful of people who were behind the success of the innovation process in Tetra Pak from 1944 and onwards. These key people were, or became part owner of Tetra Pak, before it became a purely family business in the 1970s, i.e. they were a “venture team”.

– The work with the Tetra-book led to the purpose of this thesis, which is to explore the theoretical, conceptual, empirical and methodological insights gained by studying the innovation process in new companies. And to start from the team level of analysis, says Tommy Larsson Segerlind.

In the thesis, the Tetra-case is used as a pilot-case, but the main case is taken from the Polish publishing industry during the period between 1985 and 2003 (the company Proszynski Ltd).

– The main case can also be read as a story of Poland’s societal and economic change from 1985 to 2003, told from an unusual perspective, namely the team. We need stories about entrepreneurship not based solely on a single entrepreneur, or for that matter, completely omits the people in these processes, stresses Tommy Larsson Segerlind.

The title of the dissertation: Team Entrepreneurship – A Process Analysis of the Venture Team and the Venture Team Roles in relation to the Innovation Process. The thesis can be downloaded as a pdf from:

Further information can be obtained by:
Tommy Larsson Segerlind, School of Business Studies, Södertörns University, tfn +46(0)8-608 44 70 or +46(0)709-60 44 28, e-mail: