Demographic diversity for building an effective entrepreneurial team: Is it important?

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Although traditional entrepreneurship literature often views entrepreneurship as an economic battle of a "lonely hero," the prevalence of entrepreneurial teams is an emerging economic reality. This study examines the influences of demographic diversity variables in terms of age, gender, and functional background and team process variables in terms of team-level cognitive comprehensiveness and team commitment on entrepreneurial team effectiveness. With field interview data from 174 entrepreneurs representing 79 entrepreneurial teams, this study suggests that demographic diversity is not important for entrepreneurial team effectiveness, whereas the team process variables positively influence team effectiveness. The findings also suggest that the diversity in terms of gender, age and functional background does not contribute to the team-level cognitive comprehensiveness and team commitment. Finally, the study explores implications of the findings for practice and future research. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]