Derivative or Puzzle Piecing: Forming Nascent Strategy in Emerging Insurance Technology Ventures

Qian Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


How nascent high-technology ventures form strategies as they emerge? To answer the question, I conducted a longitudinal in-depth comparative case study of four insurance technology (Insurtech) ventures from 2017 to 2019. Whilst two of the ventures engaged in a derivative approach by tuning in a pivoting methodology and leveraging resources for multiple purposes, the other two adopted a puzzle-piecing approach by emphasizing a testing methodology and assembling resources in an attempt to reach their imagined strategy. Comparing these patterns reveals the importance of entrepreneurs’ tacit rules of using resources and pacing their growth. Derivative entrepreneurs assume a pluralist view on resource use and conform to a hypergrowth technology venture narrative. In contrast, puzzle piecing entrepreneurs hold a unitarist view on resource use—seeking one particular outcome from one resource—and self-pace the growth of their ventures—distancing from hypergrowth. I propose that entrepreneurs’ tacit rules of resource use and growing pace and their reactions to the dominant technology venture narratives contribute to the distinct strategy forming processes as ventures emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
EditorsSonia Taneja
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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