Effects of relational capital and commitment on venture capitalists' perception of portfolio company performance

Dirk De Clercq, Harry J. Sapienza

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154 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine how relational capital and commitment affect a venture capital firm's (i.e., VCFs) perception of the performance of its portfolio companies (i.e., PFCs). That is, we examine how perceived performance is affected by the social nature of the relationship between the VCF and PFC. The study's hypotheses are tested by applying quantitative analyses to survey data collected from 298 U.S.-based venture capital firms. The data from the survey are complemented with additional information drawn from secondary data sources and interviews with several venture capitalists. We found that the amount of relational capital embedded in the VCF-PFC dyad and the extent to which the VCF is committed to the PFC are strongly related to perceived performance. We speculate that relational capital and commitment enhance learning, an effect that increases VCFs' perceptions of performance. Further, these perceptions of performance will also be amplified by the positive affect generated by relational capital and commitment. We discuss the limitations and contributions of our findings and provide directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-347
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, the Ghent University and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Carlson School of Management for financial support of this study.

Copyright 2006 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Commitment
  • Relational capital
  • Venture capital


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