In addition to these, on this page we compile a non-exhaustive list of resources for scholars interested in researching Lean Startups. We identify a few of the relevant books on the topic. We also identify some academic articles with theory that may be viewed as related to the Lean Startup methodology. Links between existing academic work and the Lean Startup framework were a key topic for discussion at the PDW, and this conversation is ongoing—please contact the organizers if you have suggestions of material to add.
Here we list a sample of academic articles on topics that form underlying pillars of the Lean Startup framework. This is not a comprehensive list; it is intended more as primer and discussion starter than as an authoritative source. We welcome suggestions for additions to the list - please send these to one of the organizers.
Searching for a Business Model
Amit, R. and Zott, C. (2001). Value creation in E-business. Strategic Management Journal, 22: 493–520.
Chesbrough, H., and Rosenbloom, R. S. (2002). The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation: evidence from Xerox Corporation's technology spin‐off companies. Industrial and Corporate Change, 11(3), 529-555.
Fiet, J. O. (2007). A Prescriptive Analysis of Search and Discovery. Journal of Management Studies, 44: 592–611.
Katila, R., Chen, E.L. and Piezunka, H. (2012). All the right moves: How entrepreneurial firms compete effectively. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6(2), pp.116-132.
Marx, M., Gans, J.S. and Hsu, D.H. (2014). Dynamic Commercialization Strategies for Disruptive Technologies: Evidence from the Speech Recognition Industry. Management Science, 60: 3103-3123.
Garud, R., Schildt, H. & Lant, T. (2014). Entrepreneurial storytelling, future expectations, and the paradox of legitimacy. Organization Science, 25(5), pp. 1479–1492.
Garud, R. and Giuliani, A. (2013). A narrative perspective to entrepreneurial opportunities, Academy of Management Review, Dialogue, 38(1): 157–160.
Peters C., Blohm I. & Leimeister J.M. (2015). Anatomy of Successful Business Models for Complex Services: Insights from the Telemedicine Field. Journal of Management Information Systems. 32: 75-104
Ansari, S. A., Garud. R. & Kumaraswamy, A. (2016). The Disruptor’s Dilemma: TiVo and the U.S. Television Ecosystem. Strategic Management Journal. 37: 1829–1853
Ted Ladd, The Limits of the Lean Startup Method: https://hbr.org/2016/03/the-limits-of-the-lean-startup-method
Pontikes, E.G., & Barnett, W. P. (2017). The Non-consensus Entrepreneur: Organizational Responses to Vital Events. Administrative Science Quarterly. 62(1): 140-178
Snihur, Y., Thomas, L. D., & Burgelman, R. A. (2018). An ecosystem‐level process model of business model disruption: The disruptor's gambit. Journal of Management Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12343
Joshua S. Gans, Scott Stern, Jane Wu (2019) Foundations of Entrepreneurial Strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 40: 736-756
- A Strategic Management Society Blog post by David Clough about this article can be found here.
McDonald, R. M., & Eisenhardt, K. M. (2019). Parallel play: Startups, nascent markets, and effective business-model design. Administrative Science Quarterly.
Angus, R. W. (2019). Problemistic Search Distance and Entrepreneurial Performance. Strategic Management Journal.
Learning from Failure
Sitkin, S.B. (1992). Learning Through Failure: The Strategy of Small Losses. Research in Organizational Behavior, 14:231-266
McGrath, R.G. (1999). Falling Forward: Real Options Reasoning and Entrepreneurial Failure. Academy of Management Review, 24: 13-30.
Minniti, M. and Bygrave, W. (2001). A Dynamic Model of Entrepreneurial Learning. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 25: 5-16
Eggers, J. P., and Song, L. (2015). Dealing with Failure: Serial Entrepreneurs and the Costs of Changing Industries Between Ventures. Academy of Management Journal, 58(6), 1785-1803.
Deliberate Learning from Experimentation
Simon, H. A. (1996). The sciences of the artificial. MIT press.
Van de Ven, A. H., and Polley, D. (1992). Learning while innovating. Organization Science, 3(1), 92-116.
Thomke, S. H. (1998). Managing experimentation in the design of new products. Management Science, 44(6), 743-762.
Miner, A. S., Bassoff, P., & Moorman, C. (2001). Organizational improvisation and learning: A field study. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2), 304-337.
Murray, F., and Tripsas, M. (2004). The exploratory processes of entrepreneurial firms: The role of purposeful experimentation. In J. Baum and A. McGahan (eds.), Advances in Strategic Management: Business Strategy over the Industry Life Cycle, 21: 45-75.
Camuffo, A., Cordova, A., Gambardella, A., & Spina, C. (2019). A scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making: Evidence from a randomized control trial. Management Science.
Product Development: Parallel, Sequential, and Iterative Processes
Nelson, R. R. (1961). Uncertainty, learning, and the economics of parallel research and development efforts. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 351-364.
Lynn, G. S., Morone, J. G., and Paulson, A. S. (1996). Marketing and discontinuous innovation: the probe and learn process. California Management Review, 38(3), 8-37.
Terwiesch, C., and Loch, C. H. (1999). Measuring the effectiveness of overlapping development activities. Management Science, 45(4), 455-465.
Sorenson, O. (2000). Letting the market work for you: An evolutionary perspective on product strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 577-592.
Erat, S., and Kavadias, S. (2008). Sequential testing of product designs: Implications for learning. Management Science, 54(5), 956-968.
Organizational Change in Entrepreneurial Firms
Zuzul, T., & Tripsas, M. (2019). Start-up inertia versus flexibility: The role of founder identity in a nascent industry. Administrative Science Quarterly.
McDonald, R., & Gao, C. (2019). Pivoting isn’t enough? Managing strategic reorientation in new ventures. Organization Science.
Lean Startup as a Practice and as a Practitioner Movement
Dushnitsky, G., & Matusik, S. F. (2019). A fresh look at patterns and assumptions in the field of entrepreneurship: What can we learn?. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.
Felin, T., Gambardella, A., Stern, S., & Zenger, T. (2019). Lean startup and the business model: Experimentation revisited. Long Range Planning (Open Access).
Contigiani, A., & Levinthal, D. A. (2019). Situating the construct of lean start-up: adjacent conversations and possible future directions. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(3), 551-564.
Here we collect links to working papers which are brought to our attention, covering topics either explicitly related to Lean Startup as an innovation strategy, or otherwise related to the fundamentals of entrepreneurial business model development.
"Entrepreneurial Cognition in the Lean Startup Method" - Ted Ladd and Lori Kendall, 2017 working paper
"When Does Economic Experimentation Matter? Finding the Pivot in the Early History of the Automobile Industry" - Sandeep Pillai, Brent Goldfarb, and David Kirsch, 2018 SSRN working paper
"Stay the Course or Pivot? Team Composition, Hypothesis-testing, and Early-stage Business Models" - Michael Leatherbee and Riitta Katila (July 31, 2018). SSRN working paper
Here we collect links to teaching cases covering topics related to Lean Startup or experimentation as an innovation strategy.
"Hypothesis-Driven Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup" by Thomas Eisenmann, Eric Ries, and Sarah Dillard. Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Case No. 812-095