Abstract

Venture capital firms (VCFs) play an important role for new ventures and a cooperative working relationship is fundamental (Cable & Shane, 1997). At the same time, their relationship bears significant potential for conflict (Yitshaki, 2008). Conflict between entrepreneurs and their investors only gains attention recently (e.g. Collewaert, 2011; Zacharakis et al., 2010; Higashide & Birley, 2002) and very little is known about specific causes of conflict. We choose the theory of effectuation as a framework to investigate the antecedents of task conflict. Sarasvathy (2001) revealed that entrepreneurs regularly follow principles of effectuation when starting their businesses and the work of Wiltbank & Sarasvathy (2002) suggests diversity in the application of effectuation and causation for investors as well. Therefore this study aims to shed light on the question which and why specific dimensions of effectuation and causation lead to conflict between entrepreneurs and VCFs.

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