Trustworthiness: A Critical Ingredient for Entrepreneurs Seeking Investors

We investigate how an entrepreneur’s behaviors during an initial interaction with a business angel can build, damage, or violate trust, and how the investor’s level of trust (prompted by the entrepreneur’s behavior) can affect his/her decision to make an investment offer. Our empirical analysis shows that entrepreneurs who receive offers from business angels exhibit a larger number of trust-building behaviors during the initial interaction and a smaller number of unintentional trust-damaging behaviors than those who do not receive an offer, and display few deliberate trust-violating behaviors. We further observe that the investor’s deployment of a control mechanism is a prerequisite for receiving an investment offer for all entrepreneurs who damage or violate trust.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Andrew L. Maxwell
Morenx Lévesque
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