Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Tarun Mukherjee

Second Advisor

Walter Lane

Third Advisor

Mohammad Kabir Hassan

Fourth Advisor

Duygu Zirek


The dissertation consists of two essays.

The first essay studies governance structures and their effectiveness for start-up companies and their survival. We utilize data from the Kauffman Survey, which tracks a sample of firms from their inceptions through their first eight years of existence. We hypothesize and find evidence that a startup's governance system affects its survivability as well as its performance. We show that controlling for the firm size and the industry, cross-sectional variations in the performance of the start-up firms can be explained by governance variables; the presence of one or more independent board member on the board, the separation between the person holding the CEO position and the chair of the board. From the startup survival perspective, we show that the presence of one or more independent board member(s), the separation between CEO and board chair, and external funding are effective factors that promote a start-up's longevity.

The second essay studies the direct and indirect relations between Governance and firm survival and performance through Entrepreneurial Orientation. Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is defined as the attributes, including innovativeness, autonomy, risk-taking attitude, proactiveness, and competitive aggressiveness, that a business organization displays at the time of entry. Several researchers have studied the linkage between EO and organizational performance as well as the survival rate of new firms and find conflicting results. Reasons for the contradictory results might very well be the way the researchers have defined the EO attributes and the data source they use which is based on subjective responses. In the hopes of reducing inconsistent results, we propose that it is the governance factors that influence the performance and survival of these firm via mediating role of entrepreneurial orientation. Governance factors remove the definition as well as data measurement problems. By using the 8-year longitudinal data of 4928 startups, we show that governance system significantly impacts a start-up’s performance and survival via entrepreneurial orientation.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.