Related Event

CSSO presents:

Friday, May 19, 2017
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Bronfman 245

Falling off the Unicorn: The Structural Shortcomings of Startup Employment

Dr. Rodrigo Canales
Yale School of Management

All are cordially invited to attend.

We investigate the expectations individuals have when they join startups as employees and whether these expectations are generally met. Our inductive study suggests that individuals join startups because they expect to experience greater professional growth, personal fulfillment, and financial rewards than they would in more established firms. These expectations are widespread and persistent, but the anticipated benefits mostly do not materialize. We find this paradoxical outcome is the result of three structural issues associated with startups: 1) misaligned interests among investors, founders, and employees, 2) the startup experience only allows for superstitious learning, and 3) high levels of homophily in startup employees’ social networks.

Dr. Rodrigo Canales does research at the intersection of organizational theory and institutional theory, with a special interest in the role of institutions in entrepreneurship and economic development. Specifically, Rodrigo studies how individuals are affected by and in turn purposefully change complex organizations or systems. Rodrigo’s work explores how individuals’ backgrounds, professional identities, and organizational positions affect how they relate to existing structures and the strategies they pursue to change them. His work contributes to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that allow institutions to operate and change. Rodrigo has done work in entrepreneurial finance and microfinance, as well as in the institutional implications of the Mexican war on drugs. His current research is divided in two streams. The first focuses on the structural determinants of the quality of startup employment. The second explores how to build effective, resilient, and trusted police organizations in Mexico.

Rodrigo teaches the Innovator Perspective at Yale School of Management; he sits in the advisory board of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT; he spent the 2014-2015 academic year advising the Mexican government on the US-Mexico bilateral relationship; and sits in the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy.

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