Abstract

Conflicts of interests are inevitable in investor-entrepreneurs relations but if improperly managed can undermine the value of investor involvement (Sapienza, 1992), adversely affect venture performance (Higashide and Birley, 2002) and potentially lead to the dissolution of the relationship (Collewaert, 2012). One factor that makes conflicts difficult to manage is when one party perceives more conflict than the other (e.g., Jehn et al., 2010). In a sample of Belgian and US angel-backed firms, we found that role matters: venture performance is lower when investors perceived a greater degree of conflict than entrepreneurs. These findings suggest that the relative power of the investor dictates how damaging conflict may be. However, we were not able to directly assess power in this study; further, given the correlational nature of the data, causal inferences were limited. We therefore sought to replicate and extends these findings in an experiment.

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