主 题：A Signaling Perspective on Employee Mobility(从市场信号视角分析技术人员流动问题)
Strategy and entrepreneurship scholars have identified many benefits for new ventures to employ signals to access resources in financial and partner selection factor markets. However, scholars have not explored the inventor labor market from a signaling perspective. This paper investigates inventor mobility across biopharmaceutical startups and examines the effects of two signal variables, VC prominence and alliance network prominence. We suggest that VC prominence and alliance network prominence can provide a higher level of comfort and assurance in the presence of information asymmetry between the new venture and other players in the market, thereby enabling the new venture to have better access to the labor factor market. We further point to a potential downside of signaling in terms of out-bound inventor mobility. Empirical evidence from biopharmaceutical startups show that new ventures can benefit from VC and alliance signals to attract inventors to join the firm, but they may also risk losing existing human capital. In addition, we show that the signaling effects become less pronounced as the venture’s level of information asymmetry decreases.
Keywords:inventor mobility, signaling, VC prominence, alliance network prominence
Kun Zhang is a doctoral candidate in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests revolve around technological innovation and corporate strategy choices, drawing upon the perspectives of knowledge-based view and information economics. Specifically, Kun’s first stream of research and dissertation focuses on knowledge worker mobility as a means of external knowledge acquisition in the context of interfirm partnerships. Kun’s second stream of research looks at macroeconomic conditions of innovation, where he specializes in the patent examination procedures in China and its implications for research policy and innovation scholars. Recent projects are on inventor mobility, collaborative strategies, and applications of information economics to various problems in strategy, international business, and entrepreneurship. His most recent paper published in Research Policy studies the determinants of the duration and outcomes of patent examination using a novel SIPO data set. In terms of teaching, Kun Zhang has led courses and seminars on business and corporate strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship in several undergraduate degree programs. He is the recipient of the 2017 PhD Teaching Award at the Leeds School of Business, and he now serves on the PhD Teaching Award Committee at the Leeds School of Business. Kun obtained a master degree in Management Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science in UK, where he has conducted research on open innovation, behavioral economics, and decision sciences. Additionally, Kun is a member of Academy of Management and Strategic Management Society.