Entrepreneurial team formation is a dynamic process that involves several cognitive and psychological motivators (Forbes et al., 2006; Zhao et al., 2012). Resource seeking behaviors and cognitive factors complicate the process of finding and retaining the right people for developing an effective founding team. Though scholars have demonstrated that tools such as issuing firm equity (DeTienne, 2010) and ownership shares (Reuer et al., 2006) help in attracting quality co-founders, literature has yet to focus attention on how the perceived justice of distributed ownership effects founding team member commitment to the startup and the resulting performance of the budding organization.

Commitment has typically been examined from the angle of career choices (Kolvereid, 1996) and literature has remained focused on understanding why individuals commit to a new venture lifestyle (Shane, 2008; Townsend et al., 2010). Such perspectives are useful but tend to limit our understanding of other factors influencing commitment during the formation and growth of a new venture. By adopting a multidimensional view of commitment (Meyer et al., 1993), we identify factors which impact commitment during the organization, launch, and growth of the new venture and how that commitment impacts the venture’s performance.