Firm and group influences on venture capital firms' involvement in new ventures

Dirk De Clercq, Harry J Sapienza, Akbar Zaheer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Drawing on expectancy, equity, and collective effort theories, we argue that the level of involvement of individual firms in multifirm alliances depends on both individual firms' self-focused interests and factors stemming from the firms' membership in the alliance group. We apply our theoretical arguments to the context of venture capital syndicates and test the hypotheses using data about 160 venture capital firms (VCFs) drawn from a survey instrument and a secondary data source. The results show that individual firms' involvement in a multifirm alliance is somewhat dominated by group effects; specifically, financial stake relative to that of the group and the reputation of the other group members significantly influence the focal firm's involvement. However, focal firms' involvement relates negatively to their own reputation. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research. Our results imply that firms in multiparty alliances pay attention to the characteristics of their alliance partnership to calibrate their own behaviour. In our specific setting, VCF involvement in syndicates depends more on relative syndicate characteristics than on the focal firm's absolute level of investment. Further, because reputation is negatively associated with involvement, entrepreneurs and potential syndicate entrants should ensure that they fully leverage VCF reputation to achieve their goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1194
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2008


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