With a process perspectve based on a framework derived from several disciplines, we theoretcally discuss how friendship dynamics in founding teams may aﬀect a business. We develop a conceptual model that considers the diﬀerent nature of exchanges in business and friendship, which may serve as a useful startng base for future investgaton (in the Appendix we report some measures of friendship). We then examine an exemplary case. We focus on group cohesiveness (a proxy for friendship), decision-making, and organizaton of an Italian technology-based frm’s founding team over tme and explore the process of generatng creatve ideas and implementng innovaton. Our speculatve fndings show that chaos does not necessarily favor creatvity and innovaton: while low group cohesiveness leads to disorganizaton because business norms prevail over friendship ones, high group cohesiveness creates structure in the organizaton that sustains the generaton of creatve outcomes by enhancing the role of friendship norms in decision-making. We explain this fnding in the light of the principle of reciprocity of exchanges.
Keywords: spin-offs; reciprocity; friendship; group-cohesiveness; creativity; innovation.