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Take the money or run? Investors' ethical reputation and entrepreneurs' willingness to partner

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  • Drover, Will
  • Wood, Matthew S.
  • Fassin, Yves

Abstract

Drawing on the multi-principal–agent perspective, this research models the influence of venture capitalists' reputation for ethical behavior on entrepreneurs' willingness to partner decisions. We test our model using a two-study design. Study one, a conjoint experiment, revealed that explicit knowledge of past unethical behavior negatively affects entrepreneurs' willingness to partner. Interaction effects revealed that factors previously shown to influence the entrepreneurs' evaluations—investor value-add and investment track record—become largely contingent upon and often subjugated by investors' ethical reputation. Study two, a traditional between-subjects scenario experiment, revealed that when entrepreneurs develop their own perceptions about the ethicality of an investor's prior behaviors, the ethical dimension remains highly influential. Further, we find that as the consequences of rejecting funding become more severe (e.g., possible bankruptcy), entrepreneurs become increasingly willing to partner with unethical investors. We also find that high fear of failure entrepreneurs are less willing to partner with unethical investors than their low fear of failure counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Drover, Will & Wood, Matthew S. & Fassin, Yves, 2014. "Take the money or run? Investors' ethical reputation and entrepreneurs' willingness to partner," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 723-740.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:29:y:2014:i:6:p:723-740
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2013.08.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Tereza Tykvová, 2018. "Venture capital and private equity financing: an overview of recent literature and an agenda for future research," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 325-362, May.
    2. Scheaf, David J. & Davis, Blakley C. & Webb, Justin W. & Coombs, Joseph E. & Borns, Jared & Holloway, Garrett, 2018. "Signals' flexibility and interaction with visual cues: Insights from crowdfunding," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 720-741.
    3. Kalina Grzesiuk, 2016. "Unethical Behaviour of Organisations from a Social Network Perspective. A Literature Review," Annales. Ethics in Economic Life, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, vol. 19(4), pages 23-37, December.
    4. Grégoire, Denis A. & Binder, Julia K. & Rauch, Andreas, 2019. "Navigating the validity tradeoffs of entrepreneurship research experiments: A systematic review and best-practice suggestions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 284-310.
    5. Vallaster, Christine & Kraus, Sascha & Merigó Lindahl, José M. & Nielsen, Annika, 2019. "Ethics and entrepreneurship: A bibliometric study and literature review," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 226-237.
    6. Allison, Thomas H. & Davis, Blakley C. & Webb, Justin W. & Short, Jeremy C., 2017. "Persuasion in crowdfunding: An elaboration likelihood model of crowdfunding performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 707-725.
    7. Martin P. Allmendinger & Elisabeth S. C. Berger, 2019. "Selecting Corporate Firms For Collaborative Innovation: Entrepreneurial Decision Making In Asymmetric Partnerships," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(01), pages 1-34, January.
    8. Murnieks, Charles Y. & Cardon, Melissa S. & Sudek, Richard & White, T. Daniel & Brooks, Wade T., 2016. "Drawn to the fire: The role of passion, tenacity and inspirational leadership in angel investing," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 468-484.

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