IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When do venture capital firm learn from their portfolio companies?


  • Dirk De Clercq


  • Harry Sapienza

    (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


In this study we examine when venture capital firms (VCFs) learn from their portfolio companies (PFCs). Relying primarily on learning and behavioral theories, we develop hypotheses regarding the effects of prior experience, knowledge overlap, trust, and PFC performance on learning by VCFs. We use a combination of primary and secondary data from 298 U.S.-based VCFs to test the hypotheses. Interview data are used to illuminate the results and to guide our discussion of implications. Many of our results were surprising. For example, we found that the VCF's overall experience is negatively related to VCF learning, and we found trust in VCF-PFC dyads also negatively associated with VCF learning. Whereas we expected to observe a curvilinear relationship between knowledge overlap and learning, we found that lower levels of knowledge of overlap were associated with greater learning in a linear fashion. Finally, we found that VCFs perceive greater learning to occur in higher performing PFCs. We discuss the limitations and implications of our findings, and also suggest avenues for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk De Clercq & Harry Sapienza, 2004. "When do venture capital firm learn from their portfolio companies?," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2004-03, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2004-03

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eldenburg, Leslie & Kallapur, Sanjay, 1997. "Changes in hospital service mix and cost allocations in response to changes in Medicare reimbursement schemes," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-51, May.
    2. Jegers, Marc & Kesteloot, Katrien & De Graeve, Diana & Gilles, Willem, 2002. "A typology for provider payment systems in health care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 255-273, June.
    3. Madorran Garcia, Cristina & de Val Pardo, Isabel, 2004. "Strategies and performance in hospitals," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-13, January.
    4. Jackson, Terri, 2001. "Using computerised patient-level costing data for setting DRG weights: the Victorian (Australia) cost weight studies," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 149-163, May.
    5. Devine, Kevin & O'Clock, Priscilla & Lyons, David, 2000. "Health-Care Financial Management in a Changing Environment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 183-191, June.
    6. Christopher D. Ittner, 2002. "The Association Between Activity-Based Costing and Manufacturing Performance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 711-726, June.
    7. Eeckloo, Kristof & Van Herck, Gustaaf & Van Hulle, Cynthia & Vleugels, Arthur, 2004. "From Corporate Governance To Hospital Governance.: Authority, transparency and accountability of Belgian non-profit hospitals' board and management," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-15, April.
    8. Randolph B. Cooper & Robert W. Zmud, 1990. "Information Technology Implementation Research: A Technological Diffusion Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 123-139, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2004-03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Isabelle Vandenbroere). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.