How can ‘a good fight’ create cooperation? Cooperative conflicts in VC-Entrepreneur relationships




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Via Raffaele Lambruschini, 15 20156 Milano MI

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Benjamin Le Pendeven
Audencia Business School, France


Scholars have documented that conflicts are normal phenomena in an entrepreneurial finance context. This article demonstrates that proactive conflicts can even generate cooperation. By drawing on extant research on the antecedents and outcomes of conflict and on conflict management, we uncover how entrepreneurs and venture capitalists use conflicts to develop cooperation in their relationships. Theorizing from an inductive multiple-case study of 14 venture capitalist-entrepreneur dyads, we propose a conceptual model that describes two behaviors–voicing out and escalating–that, together or in isolation, enable entrepreneurs and VCs to turn situations of conflict into opportunities for dialogue and, thus, cooperation.

Benjamin Le Pendeven is Assistant Professor at Audencia Business School, France. His main research areas are entrepreneurial finance (venture capital, crowdfunding, corporate venture capital) and sustainable innovation financing (impact investing, social impact bonds, discrimination in funding entrepreneurs). On these topics, he heads the ‘Finance for Innovation’ Chair at Audencia Business School.


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