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Team trust and control in new venture emergence

Karen Williams Middleton (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Pamela Nowell (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 22 January 2018

Issue publication date: 23 May 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Effective internal dynamics of new venture teams is seen as a key contributor to venture success. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ways in which new venture teams consisting of nascent entrepreneurs initiate trust and control during venture emergence.

Design/methodology/approach

Dimensions of trust and control are developed into an analytical framework applied to documented team norms. Coding detects frequency of trust and control dimensions. Supplementary data triangulate findings and explore follow-on effects in team dynamics and venture emergence.

Findings

Frequency of coded dimensions generates a venture team profile. Teams prime their dynamics through use of trust and/or control language in documented norms. Priming is seen to influence entrepreneurial perseverance during venture emergence, stemming either directly from team dynamics, or indirectly from key shareholder relationships or environmental conditions.

Research limitations/implications

Data are bounded to a specific contextual setting representing incubation and education, where the nascent entrepreneurs are simultaneously students. The complexity of venture emergence means that multiple factors influencing new venture teams may influence trust and control in ways currently unaccounted for.

Practical implications

Exploration of trust and control during venture emergence emphasizes soft-skills critical to entrepreneurial perseverance and venture success. Team norms can be designed to prime toward trust or control, and can be indicative of teams’ sensitivity to external factors, enabling evidence for intervention.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates ways in which trust and control influence team dynamics during venture emergence.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Carin Sävetun for her contributions as a third independent coder of primary data used in the study, and the reviewers of earlier versions of the paper for their constructive and valuable comments.

Citation

Williams Middleton, K. and Nowell, P. (2018), "Team trust and control in new venture emergence", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 882-910. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-01-2017-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited