Abstract

Recent literature emphasizes to view Venture Capital (VC) involvement as a form of collaboration to grow. Nevertheless, this cooperative relationship bears significant potential for conflicts driven by factors such as scarce resources or interdependencies. So far, research on entrepreneur-investor conflict has primarily investigated its impact on performance criteria while knowledge on conflicttriggering processes is still limited. This study examines the effects of investor’s involvement on entrepreneur-investor task conflict from an attention-based view perspective. By introducing new sets of priorities, VCs actively interfere with the existing distribution of attention within the entrepreneurial team and seek to reorient a venture from early explorative to more exploitive activities. Thus, we take a closer look at a key driver of commercialization and one of the most significant value-added activities of VCs, strategic involvement. We propose that entrepreneurs demand investor’s involvement in strategy formation while broad monitoring of prior strategic decisions likely causes mistrust and conflicts. We follow latest advances in conflict research by adopting a contingency view and investigating the moderating role of innovativeness and psychological ownership, two factors which have proven relevant during commercialization.

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