Abstract

Conflicts between entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists are not a rare event (Higashide & Birley, 2002; Yitshaki, 2008). Whereas some research has looked into the impact of conflicts in this relationship (e.g. Higashide and Birley, 2002; Parhankangas and Landström, 2006), little research has studied its causes and ethical dimensions. Start-up entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists are however confronted with an enormous range of ethical issues. Questionable practices can include lies and deception, breaches of promise, unfair competition, personal advantages for management and the manipulation of communication (Crane & Matten, 2004). Adopting a conflict theory approach, this paper aims to address this gap in the entrepreneurship and business ethics literature.

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